WHAT was described by junior health minister Jim Daly as ‘high level meetings’ were held in Bantry General Hospital this week, in an effort to progress development of the hospital and expand on the services currently provided.
The meetings were attended by the South/ South West Hospital Group chief Gerry Dwyer, CUH hospital manager Tony McNamara and senior staff and management of Bantry General Hospital.
The meetings formspart of regular management meetings requested by the Clonakilty-based Minister of State at the Department of Health Jim Daly, in an effort to progress his plans for the hospital as reported earlier in The Southern Star.
This week the HSE confirmed that a preferred option to develop a new endoscopy unit at the hospital and a standalone rehabilitation unit were approved at a recent national capital appraisal meeting, and have been submitted to the Department of Health for funding.
Discussions were also held in relation to the expansion of day case surgery time, which is currently two-and-a-half days per week. Minister Daly demanded more use be made of the state-of-the-art theatres in Bantry, and requested the HSE implements a plan to open more hours and carry out more procedures as a ‘matter of priority’.
Minister Daly told The Southern Star that he was happy with progress and it was great to have the plans drawn up and agreed.
‘We are now at a stage where the drawings have been agreed and the preferred option to develop services at Bantry has also been identified by the HSE. Staff and management at the hospital are supportive of these plans, and it is now up to me to try and secure funding within my department to support this vital facility for West Cork,’ he said. ‘Bantry General Hospital is the only remote rural hospital in the country, and it deserves government support in recognition of this special status. I will continue to work with the management of Bantry General to secure the necessary funding to start the roll-out of the expansion programme for the hospital.’