21 July 2023
By Elaine Murphy
Health / Politics
Bantry General Hospital is in a race against the clock if it is to proceed with the timely delivery of its crucially important Rehabilitation Unit according to Independent TD for Cork South-West Michael Collins.
Deputy Collins was speaking after he wrote to the Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly urging him to take immediate action on the matter including sanctioning funding for the project which has already successfully completed its design and tender stages.
The Independent TD went on to the note that the urgency around the current situation arose following a recent visit of the Minister for Health to BGH, when it was explicitly communicated that funding for the Unit would not be granted within this calendar year:
“The last thing Bantry General needs now is for the Minister or indeed the HSE to adopt a penny-wise but pound-foolish approach,” said Deputy Collins.
“What I mean by this is that any delay in funding allocation would force the project to undergo a time-consuming process of re-tendering, inevitably resulting in further costly setbacks.”
“To exacerbate matters, reliable sources have indicated to me that this delay would potentially inflate the project’s cost by approximately 25%, imposing an additional burden of approximately €2M on the exchequer. It is imperative that we prevent such an unnecessary expense.”
“It has also been brought to my attention that only partial funding is required this year to promptly advance with the project. That is why I have implored the Minister to exert all the influence he has and to advocate wholeheartedly for the immediate awarding of the necessary funding.”
“I refuse to accept that a mechanism for the delivery of funding cannot be found or put in place.”
“We are talking here about a vital medical and health service that is shovel ready. All it needs is ministerial and HSE sign-off.”
“Senator Lombard’s recent statement to the media, accusing me of spreading misinformation, is unequivocally false. His attempt to launch a cheap attack on me is not only unhelpful to Bantry General Hospital but also disrespectful to the seriousness of the issue at hand. It is clear that this matter is of immense importance and requires immediate rectification by the Minister for Health.”
“I urge Senator Lombard to focus on the critical issue at hand, rather than engaging in political theatrics and seeking attention-grabbing headlines. The challenges faced by Bantry General Hospital are real and affecting the well-being of our community. “
“I remain committed to providing accurate information and advocating for the improvement of healthcare services in our region. It is time for constructive action, not empty rhetoric. I call upon the Minister for Health to address this situation promptly and ensure that the necessary resources are allocated to rectify the issues at Bantry General Hospital. Our community deserves nothing less than the best healthcare possible, and I will continue to fight for its well-being.”
“Forcing Bantry General into another round of tendering and into a totally avoidable generation of spiralling expense is something we must all work to avoid. The minister must act now,” concluded Deputy Collins.