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Saolta concerned about elective hospital proposal

The Sláintecare programme’s proposed elective hospital model “does not correlate” with the requirements of Saolta University Health Care Group as outlined in a 2019 options appraisal report, a board meeting heard.

“Further engagement and consultation with Sláintecare is required,” stated minutes of Saolta’s board meeting in April,
which were obtained under Freedom of Information law. “It was agreed that the Group should also engage with local public representatives regarding same.”

A spokesperson for Saolta told the Medical Independent that, in 2019, it published the outcome of an options appraisal process undertaken to identify “the most appropriate way to proceed with the future development of hospital services in Galway”.

As part of the options appraisal process, a regional elective hospital scoping study was undertaken.

“This outlines capacity including the in frastructural requirements necessary to develop an elective hospital which will serve the wider region. We are currently engaging with Sláintecare (Department of Health) and the national team in relation to their proposed model.

“We recently made a submission to the elective hospitals site selection [process] for Merlin Park University Hospital to be the chosen site. It is our view that the Sláintecare elective model will deliver on phase one of our more comprehensive requirement as outlined in the elective hospital scoping study. We are going to continue to work with the national project team to develop a facility that adds the greatest value to patients in this region.”

The National Development Plan 2018- 2027 stated that new dedicated ambulatory elective-only hospital facilities would be introduced in Dublin, Galway, and Cork. “These facilities will provide high volume, low-complexity procedures on a day and outpatient basis, together with a range of ambulatory diagnostic services.”

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