Independent TD Mattie McGrath has expressed concern that the proposed construction of a 40 bed modular unit to alleviate chronic capacity problems at South Tipperary General Hospital (STGH) is significantly behind target. Deputy McGrath was speaking after visiting the site that is temporarily storing the construction material for the unit at Derrygrath on the Clonmel to Cahir road:
“The last time I questioned Minister Harris on this issue, it related to my fears that the recruitment processes for the new Unit would not be able to deliver the required staffing levels in order for it to become fully operational.
During that questioning Minister Harris also assured me that the objective was to have the new 40-bed ward block open in the first quarter of 2019. However from I can see, this looks entirely delusional at this point in time.
Significant portions of the building materials for the Unit are still on site at Derrygrath. This raises serious questions around the target date that the Minister and the HSE have set.
It also raises concerns that the project might not be ready at all this year given what we know about how the almost half billion euro overspend on the National Children’s Hospital is impacting on the construction and delivery of vital health projects throughout the country.
That kind of excessive and unplanned spending is bound to affect the HSE’s capacity to recruit the level of staff needed for our modular unit as well as the drive to bring the project to completion.
The Minister and the HSE must address these issues as a matter of urgency,” concluded Deputy McGrath.