Tuesday, 15 April 2014
Hospital Accommodation Provision
Táim an-bhuíoch don Chathaoirleach as an deis luath seo a thabhairt dom an t-ábhar tábhachtach seo a phlé sa Seanad anocht. Táim ag caint anocht maidir le hospidéal réigiúnach d'oirthuaisceart na tíre. I wish to raise the issue of the proposed regional hospital for the north east. This was promised by Fine Gael in the run-up to the last general election and since then I have been trying to hold the Government to its promise in the Seanad. My colleagues at a local level, particularly those in Meath County Council, and my colleagues in the Navan area, Councillor Shane Cassells, Councillor Tommy Reilly, Councillor Padraig Fitzsimons and Councillor Jenny McHugh, have been raising the issue with Government Deputies locally. What we are being told locally, and also by the Government party councillors, particularly Fine Gael councillors, is that private negotiations are taking place in respect of the provision of a new regional hospital for the north east and that the Government has discussed this with investors who are prepared to build the hospital. What I am seeking is clarity on the position of the Department in respect of these alleged negotiations. Is the Department aware of the negotiations and has it met any of the alleged investors? Is anything happening with regard to the provision of a regional hospital for the north east? I sincerely hope something is happening, but at the meeting yesterday in Meath County Council with Government colleagues I expressed deep scepticism. Perhaps the Minister of State would outline the Department's position on the issue.