Cowen to open CUH cardiac and renal unit

TAOISEACH Brian Cowen will open a new €85 million cardiac and renal centre at Cork University Hospital (CUH) tomorrow.

He will then open a major extension to a business incubation centre which is expected to help create more than 200 jobs.

The Taoiseach will visit CUH in the morning to open its 141-bed cardiac renal unit, designed to accommodate cardiology services and renal services for the region.

“The realisation of the cardiac renal centre at CUH represents the most significant service development in the region in relation to cardiology, cardiothoracic surgery and renal medicine respectively,” a HSE spokesperson said.

The transfer of services to the centre began on a phased basis in July. It is hoped that additional services will transfer next month.

The centre has 35 haemodialysis stations – up from the former number of 22 which were spread across the CUH campus – including 30 for routine dialysis, three for high dependency patients and two for isolation patients, eliminating the need for night dialysis service. It will also be able to treat high dependency patients.

In 2007, staff at the hospital’s renal unit carried out approximately 22,500 haemodialysis treatments and the new facility will allow the hospital to cater for a project rise of between 10% to 15% per annum.

Later in the afternoon, the Taoiseach will perform the official opening of an extension to the Rubicon Centre on Cork Institute of Technology’s (CIT) Bishopstown campus.

The Rubicon provides enterprise development supports to 44 knowledge-based companies based at the centre, which between them employ 185 people.

They work across a wide range of sectors including ICT, international traded services, and new forms of media, energy and environment, and bio-technology.

The majority are focused on international opportunities in European and US markets.

The extension will bring the total incubation footprint at CIT to more than 3,000 square metres and will allow new entrepreneurs to use its facilities. It is expected that more than 50 additional companies will locate there, employing more than 220 people.

The success of the Rubicon has coincided with the success of entrepreneurial activity, at undergraduate level, with CIT students featuring in the top five of the Enterprise Ireland Student Enterprise Awards over the last five years.

The Rubicon event will also be attended by the Speaker of New York City Council, Christine C Quinn, who is due to pay a courtesy visit to City Hall on Friday.

Ms Quinn will be accompanied by her father, Larry, who was raised in Schull in West Cork.

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