May 21, 2019
News

MRI scanner for St Luke’s Hospital still not included in HSE Capital Plan for 2019

THE long-awaited MRI scanner for St Luke’s General Hospital is still not in the Health Service Executive’s Capital Plan for 2019 – despite repeated promises the project would be finally delivered this year, KilkennyNow.ie can reveal.

In a response to a parliamentary question from Kilkenny TD John McGuinness, The HSE said the “design team are currently developing the pre-tender cost” for the MRI scanner for St Luke’s.

In a letter to Deputy McGuinness – seen by KilkennyNow.ie – the HSE gave no indication that the project will be included in the 2019 Capital Plan.

HSE Head of Estates Jim Curran said: “Progression of the project is subject is subject to the availability of capital funding.”

He added that the HSE Capital Funding Plan for 2019 “is currently being finalised” and will be submitted to Health Minister Simon Harris “for consideration and approval”.

Deputy McGuinness (pictured below) expressed his frustration at the HSE’s failure to confirm that the project will go ahead this year in line with earlier promises.

He told KilkennyNow.ie: “It is extremely worrying the HSE cannot give a commitment that this vital health project will finally proceed this year.

“The people have waited long enough. A huge effort has gone into raising funds for the MRI scanner and it’s incumbent on the HSE to match the commitment that has been shown locally to the project.”

Last month the Chairman of the Friends of St Luke’s, Declan McCann, again expressed his frustration at the ongoing delays in the MRI project in spite of the €250,000 the group has raised for the machine.

Last month Kilkenny TD and Minister of State John Paul Phelan stated that the MRI scanner is part of the 2019 HSE Capital Plan and that he has been assured it will be built this year.

Minister Phelan told KilkennyNow.ie at the time: “The MRI is budgeted for in the 2019 HSE Capital Plan. Chief Executive, Dr Mary Dea, has confirmed to me that it will be built and that a senior architect is designing the building.”

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