CLARE Fine Gael TD Joe Carey has confirmed that more than €1 million will be spent this year on a new building to replace St Joseph’s Community Nursing Unit in Ennis.

He said that the money will progress the construction of two 50 bed blocks, incorporating 75 long stay and 25 short stay beds, and is part of an overall €3.97million allocation to upgrade public healthcare facilities in County Clare.

“€1.7million is being made available to provide a fit-for-purpose residential addiction treatment service to replace the existing facilities at Bushy Park House outside Ennis. 

“A total of €870,000 will be spent on Ennis General Hospital with €500,000 going towards equipping the new outpatient department including the provision of an x-ray room and other diagnostics.

“A further €300,000 will go towards two new operating theatres and associated accommodation including four recovery bays and a central sterile supplies department with associated refurbishment.

“€70,000 will be spent on the continued development of the hospital campus to include the fit out of vacated areas in the existing building to create a Local Injuries Unit.

“The remaining €350,000 will go towards the refurbishment of a 25 bed unit in Raheen Hospital in East Clare to comply with recommendations from the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA). 

Deputy Carey said that the €3.97million allocated to Clare projects only referred to funding for the current year, and not the total for the projects which are being developed on a multi-annual basis.

“These allocations are to ensure that these projects will be  fully completed and made available for public use in the quickest possible time,” he explained.