Senator Aisling Dolan - Strong Voice, New Vision.

New 50 bed unit at Portiuncula Hospital receives the GREEN light! Construction is starting.

May 26, 2022

New 50 bed unit at Portiuncula Hospital receives the GREEN light! Construction is starting.

Fantastic news for Ballinasloe & surrounding areas with the long-awaited construction of new 50 bed unit at Portiuncula Hospital has received the GREEN light!

We will see investment in both the new and existing buildings, this is a vote of confidence for our wonderful hospital, staff and the wider community.

In total €9.3 million funding is ring fenced for Portiuncula Hospital under the HSE Capital Plan - our Level Three 24/7 hospital in Ballinasloe.

Senator Aisling Dolan welcomes the news of €9.3 million investment in Portiuncula University Hospital in Brackernagh, Ballinasloe, Co. Galway under the HSE Capital Plan. Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly TD announced €1.02 billion under the HSE Capital Plan for 2022 for the construction and equipping of healthcare facilities, an increase of 4% on 2021.

The Fine Gael Senator based in Ballinasloe stated

This is government investment of €9 million in Portiuncula Hospital a Level Three 24/7 acute and maternity hospital under the HSE Capital Plan. It is much-needed funding to ensure that we have capacity and single bed space to manage infection control, to give dignity and privacy to patients and their families. We have excellent healthcare teams however working in a hospital dating from the 1940’s with multi-bed wards. During the pandemic, we had heroes working and doing their utmost on the frontline however in such challenging environment for patients and staff. This funding delivers a hospital for the future for Ballinasloe and the West.

A lot of this work has already started and is underway.

People can see the work that has been taking place for the 50 bed ward block with enabling works completed. €4.2 million is already committed to the next stage of building construction and the space will shortly be closed off to start these works.  

With only 13 existing single bed spaces, the hospital team also successfully proposed creating new single bed spaces in the existing Outpatients area.  €2.5 million funding will create 8 single ensuite rooms and 2 more two-bed rooms along with €200,000 for the conversion of the space and this project has gone to tender,

A CT scanner is also overdue and €2 million is allocated to this project. Construction of the necessary space to house this equipment will be completed by September 2022 in the under-croft of the hospital (under the ICU & theatres, filling the existing ground level space to the left of the hospital). A new scanner has also been purchased through the Equipment Fund.

€300,000 is for the next stage of fire safety works in the hospital and €70,000 for lift replacements

Portiuncula hospital also needs a replacement pharmacy and a review of existing Emergency Department (ED) space and I will work with the Minister for Health and government Ministers to highlight the need here.

We also know that there is a shortage of nurses, physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists and I would like to encourage people to consider careers in healthcare or coming back to the workforce. Do talk to nurses and staff in Portiuncula if you have an interest in the area and we also have a new pre-nursing Level 5 course now available at Ballinasloe College of Further Education.

Portiuncula is a teaching hospital linked with NUI Galway & UL Medical Academies. With a catchment area of over 400,000 in East Galway and across neighbouring counties of Roscommon, Westmeath, Offaly, North Tipperary, it is also the main hospital for Athlone. And people can be proud to know that our hospital has won Sláintecare funding in cardiac services and works with Primary Care Centres to roll out this project.

€10,000 is also planned for the project delivery of two high support residential units for people with intellectual disabilities in Ballinasloe.

This announcement from Minister Stephen Donnelly in the HSE Capital funds health infrastructure across the West of Ireland. The commitment to 50 beds in Portiuncula dates back to a meeting I secured with then Minister of Health Simon Harris with the hospital team in 2019. This funding is vital to ensuring safer and healthier outcomes for our loved ones in Portiuncula. To acknowledge the work of James Keane, General Manager and the new Director of Nursing Mary Mahon as well as former staff and the clinical management team with close to 900 people working across healthcare in our hospital.