Plans for the refurbishment of Macroom Community Hospital may not proceed as a result of the National Children’s Hospital overrun, according to Fianna Fáil TD for Cork North West, Michael Moynihan.
Deputy Moynihan, who expressed concern that a number of refurbishment projects at three Cork hospitals, including Macroom, may not proceed, had sought clarification from the Health Minister Simon Harris.
However, the Minister failed to give any assurances that the projects would proceed, said Deputy Moynihan.
‘This government has presided over one of the worst budget overruns in the history of the State, which will no doubt have consequences for other capital and infrastructure projects. Ministers are using terms such as ‘re-profiling’ and ‘re-scheduling’ of funds. However, what actually means is delays and cuts,’ said Deputy Moynihan.
Minister Harris stated that ‘the HSE Capital Plan will determine the projects that can progress in 2019 and beyond having regard to the total available capital funding and the relevant priority of each project.’
However, Deputy Moynihan said that is ‘extremely vague’ and non-committal and ‘fails to even reference the budget fiasco with the Children’s Hospital overspend.’
‘The government needs to come clean with the public and outline what projects are going to be delayed or shelved as a result of their mismanagement of the National Children’s Hospital budget,’ added Deputy Moynihan.
As revealed in The Southern Star last month, fears were also expressed for the €10m investment earmarked for Bantry General Hospital following the overspend on the National Children’s Hospital.
However, Cllr Declan Hurley, chairman of the Friends of Bantry General Hospital, told The Southern Star this week that as far as they are aware, the plans are still on schedule.
‘The plan is as it was and we hope to have a design team appointed and planning secured by year’s end.
‘Minister Harris approved the funding last December and we haven’t heard anything to the contrary since,’ said Cllr Hurley.