Tender letters for construction of MRI scanner at St Luke’s Hospital sent out days before election
With just over a week to go before the General Election, it has emerged the Government are ready to sign off on the construction stage of the long-awaited MRI scanner project at St Luke’s General Hospital.
Emails seen by the Friends of St Luke’s group who have long campaigned for an MRI scanner in the local hospital show documents are to be sent out to the preferred tender at the beginning of next week.
The Chairperson of the Friends of St Luke’s group, Declan McCann told KilkennyNow.ie today: “I have a copy of an email sent by the Health Service Executive. It says‘ We are planning on issuing the tendering documents to the building contractor for the construction works, week commencing February 3′.
“This does not mean the construction works are commencing. The HSE is planning to issue the tender documents to the building’s constructor next week, that means they are sending documents out, the documents still have to come back to the HSE and a contractors has to have signed a contract to proceed.”
Mr McCann was unaware that the contract for the construction of the new MRI facility had gone out to tender, but says it appears the HSE have a preferred bidder in mind.
“It sounds to me that the HSE have a preferred contractor as on the email I have it says ‘contractor’ singular and also they are planning on issuing the tender documents,” he added.
“My only concern is that it does go to tender next week, and when it comes back – what is the timescale, and will the contract be signed.”
After many false dawns in relation to the porject, Mr McCann said he treating the latest apparent milestone with caution.
“Any time we were told about progress before they were all false dawns. There is a Doubting Thomas in me and until I see the proof, I won’t believe it,” he said.
“We have heard this before. We have heard there were meant to be JCB’s on site in 2019. Well in 2019 I didn’t see a builder’s teaspoon on site let alone a JCB. But I am hopeful this will happen next week.
“This tender is for the construction costs this does not include the cost of the MRI. If and once the building starts, the next battle will be the one for the MRI – where is the contract for the MRI and is it the most up-to-date and modern we can have?
“A contract was signed for a MRI in 2016 – we must ensure we are not getting out of date technology,” he added.