St Stephen's in Glanmire confirmed as site for new elective hospital

St Stephen's in Glanmire confirmed as site for new elective hospital

St Stephen's Hospital in Glanmire, where the new elective hospital will be built. Picture: Dan Linehan

A new elective hospital in Cork will be built at St Stephen's Hospital, Sarsfield Court, Glanmire, the Government has confirmed.

The Irish Examiner revealed two weeks ago that the site on the outskirts of the northside of Cork City had been selected, along with Merlin Park in Galway.

The Cork centre will have nine theatres, seven endoscopy suites, and nine minor operation rooms and is expected to provide 180,000 extra procedures, treatments, and diagnostic appointments a year.

The Galway centre will have eight operating theatres, seven endoscopy suites, and nine minor operation rooms and is forecast to provide 175,000 additional procedures, treatments, and diagnostic appointments a year.

An announcement on a new Dublin elective hospital will follow once a business case has been approved by Government.

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said: “I am delighted that Government has approved our plans for the elective care programme, and in particular for the sites at Cork and Galway. 

"The development of these facilities represents a major change in how we’ll deliver quality care based on future demand. By separating elective [scheduled] from emergency [unscheduled] care, we will be able to deliver better care and outcomes for all patients. 

These new elective hospitals will have a real impact on people up and down the country and I am keen that they are up and running as soon as possible. For this reason, I will work with colleagues across Government to consider options to expedite their delivery wherever possible.

"Additionally, the HSE will progress proposals for ‘surgical hubs’ which can quickly deliver elective care complementary to the electives programme.”

The elective hospitals will be focused on providing day-case, gastrointestinal endoscopy, minor operations, outpatient treatment, and outpatient diagnostics services. 

These cases are relatively low acuity and high-volume in their nature — for example, operations relating to cataracts, gallstones, hernias, and tonsils.

It is envisaged the Cork hospital will employ more than 300 staff once operational.

The new elective hospitals will provide additional capacity to remove pressure on already struggling emergency departments.

Speaking in the Dáil two weeks ago, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said he would take the issue “by the scruff of the neck”.

“I’ve been a strong advocate for this and we’ve taken very strong measures to make sure this project was progressed, because it was hanging around for too long."

He said despite an announcement of a second hospital for Cork five or six years ago, very little had happened since.

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