Finance Minister, Paschal Donohoe T.D has committed to ensuring the investment for the new 50-bed block for Portiuncula Hospital in Ballinasloe is available for the new building to be constructed, according to Fine Gael election candidate for Galway East, Councillor Aisling Dolan.
Paschal Donohoe made the comments during a visit to Ballinasloe this week to view first-hand the work that is being carried out as part of the Town Enhancement Scheme. During the visit, Councillor Aisling Dolan brought Minister Donohoe to Portiuncula Hospital, where they held a meeting with Director of Nursing, Marita Fogarty and General Manager of Portiuncula, James Keane. They outlined to Minister Donohoe how important the new building will be for patients in the region, especially given the hospital’s older average patient profile.
Three candidates have been shortlisted for the tender contract for the enabling works, which will comprise the construction of a new vehicular entrance and pedestrian access, along with alterations to the other existing vehicular & pedestrian access and the provision of new hard & soft landscaping areas. The enabling works will also include for the supply of services/utilities. The existing hospital will remain in operation during the works, which are expected to begin in April this year as the contract is due to be awarded shortly.
“I’m delighted that Minister Donohoe fully endorses and understands the importance of government investment in providing a new building for Portiuncula Hospital which will accommodate 50-beds. The enabling works tender is in process and the project is progressing, and we hope to have it open by 2021. It just shows the power of having a voice, especially a voice that’s close to the Cabinet table. We need to ensure we keep a strong voice in government for the East Galway – Roscommon region,” says Councillor Dolan.
“This investment will not only be hugely important for how we meet the health needs of all who depend on Portiuncula Hospital, it’s also a really important part of Fine Gael’s plan for how we invest in the towns, communities and villages outside our bigger cities, so they have the healthcare that they deserve,” says Minister Donohoe.
Galway County Council is reviewing access to a polling station in Ballinasloe town amid concerns about accessibility. Councillor Aisling Dolan, who is the Fine Gael election candidate for Roscommon – Galway has raised the matter with staff working in the Municipal District offices in Ballinasloe.