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AN ALLOCATION of €3.97m has been announced for Clare with the approval and publication of the Health Service Executive’s Capital Plan for 2022.

Last year, Clare received an allocation of €6m split between Ennis Hospital (€1.9m), Bushy Park (€1.89m), Raheen Community Hospital (€1.29m) and St Joseph’s Hospital (€0.95m).

For the 2022 Capital Plan, the same four facilities are benefitting but to different amounts. Bushy Park (€1.7m), Ennis Hospital (€1.5m), St Joseph’s Hospital (€1.05m) and Raheen Community Hospital (€0.35m) are included in the €3.97m allocation.

Bushy Park’s funding will allow for the construction of a brand-new complex with individual accommodation for patients at the residential addiction treatment centre. Last year’s plan included funds for the development of a “fit for purpose residential addiction treatment service”.

Ennis Hospital’s allocation is broken down into different sections, €0.5m is for the equipping of the outpatient department which includes the provision of an X-Ray room and diagnostic equipment, €0.3 is for the development of two new operating theatres with a further €0.7m for the continued development of the hospital campus such as fitting out of vacated areas of the existing building. In comparison with last year’s plan, the fitting out received €1.3m and the equipping of a new outpatient department, provision of an X-ray room and diagnostics got €0.4m.

Refurbishment of a 25 bed block unit of Raheen Community Hospital is to be completed with the granting of €0.35m in the funds. The first and second phase of a completion at the East Clare facility has already been completed and the plan says the funded works are to comply with HIQA guidelines.

€1.05m has been set aside for a new building on a green field site at St Joseph’s Hospital. The building block is comprised of two fifty bed blocks, 75 of which will be long stay beds and the other 25 will be short stay. The facility received €0.95m last year for the same purpose.

Clare TD, Cathal Crowe (FF) said the investment will enable the HSE to plan and fund projects included in previous plans and to progress additional evaluated and prioritised projects in 2022. “Capital investment has a key role to play in enhancing service provision and ensuring the delivery of high quality and safe health and social care”.

He stated, “Many of the projects announced by Government last year will be developed on a multi annual basis and I am delighted that follow up funding has again been committed this year. This shows that Government wants to see these projects fully completed and made available for public use in the quickest possible time.

“Last weekend I attended a public meeting in Ennis where a large crowd of people from throughout the county gathered to express concern relating to high trolley numbers at University Hospital Limerick. As a member of the Oireachtas Health Committee, I am continuously fighting for resources and public health care in Clare and the wider Midwest region and whilst I really welcome today’s announcement, I am also conscious that more needs to be done and I will do everything in my power to ensure public healthcare capacity in county Clare continues to grow”.

Deputy Joe Carey (FG) said that the €3.97million allocated to Clare projects only referred to funding for the current year, and not the total for the projects which are being developed on a multi-annual basis. “These allocations are to ensure that these projects will be fully completed and made available for public use in the quickest possible time,” he explained.

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