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The preliminary business case to build three new elective-only hospitals has been moved to the “next phase” of the public spending code. It is currently being reviewed by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER), this newspaper has been told. In February, the Medical Independent (MI) reported that the planned new dedicated ambulatory, elective-only hospitals will have 10 specialties represented and operate six days a week for 50 weeks of the year.
At the recent annual conference of the National Clinical Programme in Surgery, joint Clinical Lead of the programme, Mr Kenneth Mealy, described the plan as “the most significant investment in scheduled care that has ever taken place in this country”.
A Department of Health spokesperson said the elective hospitals oversight group is “following the process outlined in the public spending code”.
“As required under the code, a strategic assessment report was drafted for the development of elective hospital facilities,” the spokesperson told MI.
“This sets out the rationale for investment, the alignment of the programme with strategic requirements of Government, and some initial options. This document is complete and the project has been approved for progress to the next phase of the public spending code – the preliminary business case phase – by the Department of Health, following review by the DPER.”
The Sláintecare implementation plan indicated that three elective care hospitals would be built, in Dublin, Cork, and Galway. However, no decision was made in the preliminary business case on the exact locations for the hospitals in the three cities.