A computerised image of the €19m project at Ballyshannon's Sheil Hospital which the HSE say will start in September 2019
Fears that a multi-million euro project at the Sheil Hospital in Ballyshannon would be deferred indefinitely and other hospital projects delayed or impacted negatively as a result of cost overruns at the National Children’s Hospital in Dublin have been refuted by the HSE's senior official in the north west.
John Hayes, Chief Officer for Community Healthcare Organisation Area 1, which covers Community Services in Donegal, Sligo/Leitrim and Cavan/Monaghan confirmed that the HSE are proceeding with the upgrading/refurbishment of all Community Hospitals in Donegal.
Mr Hayes stated that “the HSE have an agreed time frame to complete the upgrading/refurbishment work with HIQA and we are proceeding on this basis”.
The process to finalise a contractor for the Sheil Hospital is currently underway and it is expected that construction will commence in September this year, he added.
His response comes following almost a week of speculation in Ballyshannon and elsewhere, with many on social media in particular expressing concerns that the project might in fact not happen.
Last week we reported that community hospital projects in Donegal are facing delays as part of the fallout from the overrun of the National Children’s Hospital.
In that report we stated: “There are fears that projects such as the €19m 80-bed extension to the Sheil Hospital in Ballyshannon and hospital projects in Stranorlar, Carndonagh, Lifford and Ramelton could be delayed as a result of the overrun.”
“Donegal TD and Minister for Education Joe McHugh confirmed there will be delays of two to three months to some of the projects.
“Mr McHugh reiterated the Government’s commitment to the projects but confirmed that the upgrade of Carndonagh Community Hospital will be delayed by two to three months and all the projects are facing possible deferrals of start dates,” our report stated.
However, this latest statement issued this afternoon says the projects will continue on an agreed time frame and there is no reference to delays: “The HSE are proceeding with the upgrading/refurbishment of all Community Hospitals in Donegal. The HSE have an agreed time frame to complete the upgrading/refurbishment work with HIQA and we are proceeding on this basis”.