June 21, 2021
News

Still no timeline for provision of St Luke’s MRI scanner in new HSE Capital Plan

By COLIN BARTLEY

THE Government has committed to providing an MRI scanner in St Luke’s General Hospital under the latest Health Service Executive (HSE) Capital Plan.

The plan, released earlier today, did not give any indication of when the MRI scanner project would start and or how much money would be committed.

St Luke’s was only mentioned once in the capital plan which said: “Other projects to be progressed in 2019 include the provision of MRIs in Kilkenny and Mullingar.” It noted St Luke’s MRI project is currently at the ‘tendering’ stage.

A second project, a new 75-bed unit at St Luke’s, is also referenced in the HSE’s Capital plan and is said to be at the ‘planning stage’. No completion date or information about funding was provided.

Both the MRI scanner and new bed unit are “Projects being progressed in 2019,” according to the report. Neither project is on the “Projects Contractually Committed in 2019″ list – projects already under construction or ready to start.

This is the third capital plan, following on from the 2017 and 2018 plan, which committed to providing an MRI scanner in St Luke’s.

KilkennyNow.ie contacted Kilkenny’s Junior Minister John Paul Phelan to ask if a timeline has been agreed for the completion of the MRI project or how much money is being allocated to the project. We have not received a response as of yet.

There were worries locally  that St Luke’s MRI might be cut from the capital plan due to  the overspend on the National Children’s Hospital, with people fearing many projects nationwide would be put on hold or cancelled outright.

The capital plan, worth over €2.1 billion, has committed to all the projects the HSE and Department of Health announced over the last number of years, including the National Children’s Hospital.

The plan will provide 480 new beds and 30 new primary care centres nationwide over the next three years, while over €300m will be put into the modernisation of HSE’s ambulance fleet, facilities and technology.

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