By Jimmy Woulfe, Mid-West Correspondent
THE privately-owned Barrington’s hospital in Limerick is set to almost double its patient capacity after receiving planning permission for a €25 million development.
The news comes as two new private hospitals are planned nearby in Limerick and Adare.
Denis Cahalane, General Manager of Barrington’s Hospital, situated on George’s Quay, said the €25m extension will be completed by the end of next year.
Approximately 17,500 square feet alongside the existing hospital has been acquired for the new facility.
"This will allow for six new theatres and 70 beds in the hospital. At the moment, there are 40 beds," said Mr Cahalane.
Medical personnel at Barrington’s Hospital treated 5,000 patients last year.
Mr Cahalane said: "All the funds for the development have been privately raised.
"We hope to have the new facility completed by the latter half of 2007."
Barrington’s Hospital has operated as a private hospital for ten years and is a referral hospital for the National Treatment Purchase Fund.
It is owned by Limerick consultant Paul O’Byrne, who last year bought a 23-acre site in Freshford, Co Kilkenny, renovated a church on the site and created the Freshford Clinic - with 10 consultants’ suites.
Barrington’s hospital currently has four fully operational theatres, an endoscopy suite and ten consultants’ suites.
The new facility will facilitate a CT scanner, a Cath Lab, and six clean air theatres.
"It will also allow for higher-end technology and more invasive procedures," according to Mr Cahalane.