HSE went €7 million over budget on hospital refurbishment

During a visit to Our Lady's Hospital in Cashel, Minister for Health Simon Harris found no patient being treated there

HSE went €7 million over budget on hospital refurbishment

Image: Flickr

The Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is to call in the Health Service Executive (HSE) over the overspend on refurbishment of Our Lady's Hospital Cashel.

The project - originally put forward at a cost at €15m - came to a total cost of €27 million,  €7m over budget.

A request for an investigation was put forward by Independent TD Mattie McGrath. In his written correspondence to the committee, Mr McGrath stated that the hospital "will never have patients on beds".

"A member of the Southern/South East Health Forum has recently confirmed that Our Lady's Hospital Cashel will in fact never have patients on beds within the facility", he said following the announcement. "On numerous occasions  I have been assured that the facility at Our Lady's would accommodate a 25 Step-Down Bed service allied to South Tipperary General Hospital."

During a visit by Health Minister Simon Harris and Tipperary TD Alan Kelly, the committee heard that not a single patient was being treated there.

"There wasn't one single patient in the building", Mr Kelly said. "It isn't a case of 'where did the money go?', it's a case of 'what is the building being used for?'"

Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald said there was an argument for calling the HSE in promptly.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation's (INMO) trolley watch reports report some of the worst overcrowding in the West of Ireland.

Today at South Tipperary General Hospital, 30 people are on wards and trolleys. On January 18th, 27 patients were without beds at the hospital.

In 2014, the HSE said additional funding has been provided in relation to the provision of transitional Care and rehabilitation beds – for which a submission has been made on behalf for the South Tipperary area.

A spokesperson from Our Lady's Hospital Cashel was not available for comment.

Background

Two new reconstructions at a total cost of €10.15m and €12.6m have been spent on Our Lady’s since 2009.

The 2009  Regional Health Forum-South Report stated that  the expenditure costs will provide facilities for:

  • A 25 bed Geriatric Assessment Unit
  • A 20 bed GP Assessment and Rehabilitation Unit
  • A 15 bed Nursing and Convalescent Unit
  • A 5 bed Palliative Care Unit