WATERFORD Regional Hospital’s prowess as one of the best teaching hospitals in the country has received a major boost with funding just announced for a new €4.6 million education unit.
The figure was confirmed yesterday by the HSE, who will jointly fund the project with the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI). The HSE has already earmarked €2m to the project as part of its Capital Programme 2006-2010.
The proposed facilities will feature a 204-seat lecture theatre, a large teaching and seminar room, tutorial and reading rooms for interactive teaching and other ancillary services.
RCSI is to provide funding as part of its partnership with Waterford Regional Hospital (WRH) as an officially designated teaching hospital.
The new facility is designed to enhance the teaching of undergraduate and postgraduate medical personnel within the HSE’s acute south-east hospital network, in line with key objectives set out in the Corporate Plan 2005-2008.
The hospital’s general manager, Patricia Sullivan, said that the inclusion of the project on the Capital Plan 2006-2010 is indicative of the importance of developing further educational facilities in partnership with the RCSI.
“I am looking forward to implementing the project as soon as possible,” Ms Sullivan said.
“Having such a feature on the Regional Hospital campus would potentially attract and retain highly trained medical personnel for WRH and the HSE’s acute hospital network in the south-east,” she said.
Ms Sullivan added that upon completion and operation of the education centre, part of the existing RCSI accommodation at WRH would be used for other purposes.
Michael Horgan, the chief executive of the RCSI said the development would strengthen the role of WRH as a teaching hospital and strengthen the partnership between RCSI and the HSE.
The new facility should assist the RCSI in increasing output of EU doctors, as recommended in the recent Fottrell report.
Dr Fred Jackson, consultant haematologist and RCSI dean of undergraduate studies at the hospital, said the business plan for the project emphasised that the new facility would make the Waterford and south-east region attractive to medical consultants.
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