A major portion of €450,000 has been announced for the expansion of a Community Intervention Team at Our Lady's Hospital, Cashel, to ease pressure on South Tipperary General Hospital (STGH).
Deputy Michael Lowry welcomed the development in Dáil Éireann this week, following a promise last year by Health Minister Simon Harris that Our Lady's would re-open this year as a Day Hospital and Community Care Centre. “I raised the issue of Our Lady's Hospital Cashel and the urgent need for the Cashel Facility to be brought back into service,” said Deputy Lowry. “Many people in Tipperary are baffled and bewildered as to why we have a magnificent building in Cashel which is underutilised. It is lying idle and the building should be used to its maximum potential. Cashel has the capacity to hold between 30/35 beds and the Cashel campus is in excellent condition. I asked that the necessary structures and supports be put in place to enable Our Lady’s Hospital Cashel to function as a primary care / community care centre with particular emphasis on the medical needs of older people.”
During Dáil Questions, Deputy Lowry said the HSE has spent €20m on Cashel since 2007. “We have three floors which are empty, and I'm asking that this unit be re-opened and developed as a Primary Care Centre.”
It was “shameful” and “mind-boggling” that the building is under-utilised. Minister Harris visited and said he was “bewildered by the fact that the unit was not being used to its full extent, and he committed to establishing a work group within the HSE on how best to avail of the facilities in interests of the patients and public in Co. Tipperary.” Since then, the HSE has carried out a thorough evaluation of the necessary supports and structures that need to be put in place to enable Our Lady's in Cashel to function as a Community Care Centre with particular emphasis on the needs of older people. Deputy Lowry said the HSE “must accept that... in Our Lady's in Cashel we have a top of the range facility, which is there to care for people who do not need intensive acute support.” Deputy Lowry requested a detailed plan for the future of Our Lady's hospital.