Vital Kilkenny health projects won’t be delayed over children’s hospital overspending fiasco: HSE
TWO vital local hospital projects will not be delayed as a result of the overspending on the National Children’s Hospital, Health Minister Simon Harris has confirmed.
The minister was responding to a parliamentary question from Kilkenny Fianna Fáil TD Bobby Aylward.
Fears had been publicly expressed that the refurbishment, renovation and new building works at St Columba’s Hospital and the Primary Care Centre in Ladywell would be postponed because of the overspend on the National Children’s Hospital.
However, in responses to Deputy Aylward – seen by KilkennyNow.ie – the minister and the Health Health Services (HSE) said both projects would not be impacted by the National Children’s Hospital costs overrun.
Deputy Aylward said he “cautiously welcomed” the HSE’s written assurances.
He added: “I am very encouraged by the HSE’s reply but I remain cautious that the Government’s position may change, and I urge Ministers Harris and [Finance Minister Paschal] Donohoe to ensure that the necessary funding is ring-fenced, ready and available when required at the key points of the timeline so that these vital health projects can be completed without delay.”
Deputy Aylward also reiterated calls for the provision of 24-hour cardiac care in the South East.
The Kilkenny TD said: “Tens of thousands of people took to the streets earlier this year to march for 24/7 cardiac services for Kilkenny and the South East. The South East is the only region in the country without 24/7 cardiac care facilities and people are very fearful that this overspend could keep us waiting even longer for these lifesaving services.”
Deputy Aylward (pictured below) said the people of Kilkenny are also still awaiting funding for an MRI machine for St Luke’s General Hospital (main picture).
He added: “A local group, friends of St Luke’s Hospital, has raised €250,000 locally in an effort to assist in the provision of this crucial piece of equipment and we need an iron clad guarantee that this will be delivered.”