In response to a Parliamentary Question the HSE has confirmed to Independent TD Mattie McGrath that works being carried out at St Michael’s Unit in Clonmel are estimated to cost €700,000.
According to the HSE, these works are being carried out to deliver additional capacity in response to the Covid19 Pandemic and will deliver 25-30 essential beds for South Tipperary General Hospital.
In anticipation of any future surges, further consolidation works are being carried out in the unit to allow these additional beds operate in a more continuous manner. These works include increasing the number of en-suites and clinical hand-wash basins in patient spaces.
“While any works being carried out to increase capacity at South Tipperary General Hospital are to be welcomed, I have some serious concerns about the information that has been released and I have sought further clarification.
I had sought information on the nature of the works being carried out including a full breakdown of all works; the costs of all works and the future intentions for the hospital in a post Covid-19 environment and whether or not the additional beds will be used to return urgently needed mental health beds to South Tipperary in the future but the HSE has not supplied this information," said Deputy McGrath
In response to the questions put by Deputy McGrath the HSE listed increasing the number of en-suites and clinical hand-wash basins in patient spaces as the works being carried out and they stated that these works would cost €700,000 including Vat.
“€700,000 for increasing the number of en-suites and hand wash basins seems like an astronomical amount of money but would not be surprising given the huge amounts of money being thrown at Covid 19 projects.
I have huge concerns about where this money is coming from and what impact it is going to have on the delivery of health services in the coming months and years," continued McGrath
"We have fought hard for years to restore mental health beds to St. Michael’s Unit but it was rejected by the HSE. They have now found €700,000 to deliver 25-30 beds to deal with any future surges of Covid 19 but we need to know beyond that what these beds will be used for.
"Any increase in capacity at South Tipperary General Hospital is welcome but we must ensure that we are getting best value for money so that our non-covid related services will be improved in the long term and not suffer as a result of excessive spending during this crisis," concluded McGrath