HEALTH Minister Stephen Donnelly has yet to indicate where a surgical hub for elective procedures in the Mid-West Region will be located as Clare Fine Gael TD Joe Carey steps up his campaign for the new facility to be based at Ennis General Hospital.

Speaking in the Dáil last week, Deputy Carey asked Minister Donnelly if he would support the HSE locating the Mid-West hub at the Ennis Hospital which, he said, would be by far the best option for operational, financial and logistical reasons.

“Ennis is ideally positioned to provide such a service as it has spare capacity and a cohort of highly qualified staff. €10 million has already been committed to upgrade two surgery theatres at the hospital. This funding, along with the investment needed to deliver the regional surgical hub, would deliver a long term investment in the county’s public health infrastructure,” the Clare TD explained.

Responding to Deputy Carey’s request, Minister Donnelly said that the HSE is currently planning the establishment of the surgical hubs to assist in delivering elective care to patients across the country. 

“These will be modelled on the successful Reeves Centre at Tallaght University Hospital which has significantly reduced waiting times for certain day-case procedures.

“Planning by the HSE for the surgical hubs includes considering the scope and typical scale of services to be included, deliverables and timescales for the work, the proposed model of care, and an approach, in broad terms, to completing the work. 

“While no decisions have yet been taken on sites for the new surgical hubs, the Government noted at its meeting on 7 December last that the HSE would work with hospital groups to progress these hubs in Cork, Limerick, Waterford, Galway and Dublin,” Mr Donnelly added.