Private radiotherapy centre to open in Cork in 2019

Cork’s first private radiotherapy centre is set to open its doors in January 2019 as part of a joint venture between the Bon Secours Health System (BSHS) and a US medical firm.

Peter Lacey, chairman Bon Secours Health System, Simon Coveney, and Bill Maher, CEO Bons Secours Health System at the launch of the '2020 Plan'.

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre (UPMC) will fund half the cost of the €13m centre at the Bon Secours Hospital in Cork. The centre will be wholly owned by BSHS and UMPC and a new company will be formed to reflect the partnership.

UPMC Ireland Ltd previously owned the Beacon Private Clinic in Sandyford but sold it a couple of years ago at a loss. It continues to operate the Whitfield Cancer Centre in Co Waterford.

Details of UPMC’s involvement came yesterday at a BSHS conference where the group’s chief executive, Bill Maher, launched a “2020 Plan” which will see a €150m capital investment over five years in Bon Secours hospitals in Cork, Dublin, Galway, and Tralee as well as its Care Village on Lee Rd in Cork.

A €64m investment in the group’s Cork hospital was first mooted in 2009 but Mr Maher said it was “put on hold” due to the economic crash.

The latest investment will fund a six-storey wing as well as three operating theatres and additional intensive care beds.

A 400-space multi-storey car park, which was part of the original plan in 2009, has been shelved.

The hospital has acquired the site that was formerly home to the Western Star pub on Western Rd and this will be a key access point as part of the new development.

Mr Maher said the number of additional patients the new extended services would cater for has yet to be agreed with health insurers.

In terms of the radio- therapy centre, he said it would help address “significant deficits” in the public service “where some patients have to leave Cork to get treatment”.

The most recent HSE performance report shows Cork University Hospital is not meeting the national target in terms of referring patients for radiotherapy treatment within 15 days of being deemed suitable by their doctor.

The target is 90% but CUH was at 73.4%. In fact, failure to reach 75% over three consecutive months meant the matter was escalated to the HSE’s national performance oversight group.

Mr Maher said there was not enough capacity in the public system and they wanted to work collaboratively to address this.

The group’s Care Village in Cork will benefit from an €11m investment creating 33 additional beds, all ensuite, by January 2013.

The Tralee hospital will have two additional theatres this side of Christmas at a cost of €2.2m. Additional monies are being invested in diagnostics and consultant suites. Dublin has a new endoscopy suite and Galway will have a new cath lab from next January thanks to a €6m investment.

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