I have consistently raised the need for a new CF Unit at University Hospital Limerick, raising the issue during a Fine Gael Private Members Motion in 2012, and liaising directly between families, advocacy groups, Ministers for Health, the HSE and the Department of Health.
In recent weeks I received written confirmation from the Minister for Health, Mr. Leo Varadkar TD that the new unit will open this month (November).
The CF unit is located in the Leben Building which is a six-story building, built at a cost of €16.5 million, with a 24-bed neurology/stroke unit, a nine-bed cystic fibrosis adult inpatient unit, an outpatient cystic fibrosis unit, a dermatology unit and a symptomatic breast unit.
I am very grateful for the interest and time Minister Varadkar has given me in raising the issue of the need to open the new CF Unit at University Hospital Limerick.
The Minister has informed me that the plan is for the new unit to open in November with funding of €2.4 million for both pay and non-pay costs set aside for the unit in the 2016 estimates. The new CF unit is located in the new Leben Building, which will also contain CF outpatient services, a 24-bed neurology/stroke unit, a dermatology unit and a symptomatic breast unit.
This is very good news indeed, and will come as a welcome relief to the patients and families who have waited so long for this day.
To date over €5.2 million has been raised through excellent charitable work by TLC4CF and the JP McManus Benevolent Fund all of which has been used to construct this state of the art facility. In the HSE Service Plan 2015, €1.39 million of capital funding was earmarked to complete the build.
Ireland has the highest incidence of Cystic Fibrosis in the world. Each room in the new CF unit is built to the highest standard in CF care and in accordance with best practice. CF patients require tailored medical facilities and dedicated units in order to deliver the type of care required to treat their condition.
I want to thank the Minister for the manner in which he has engaged with me on this issue and look forward to seeing the unit open to its first patients shortly.