Fears Killarney hospital could be put on ice

Killarney Communty Hospital is due to be replaced with a new nursing unit facility

FEARS have been expressed that a new community hospital planned for Killarney, which was due for completion by 2022, will now be long-fingered because of the rapidly escalating costs associated with the new national children’s hospital project.

A preliminary design for the new facility is understood to be at an advanced stage but there are growing concerns locally that it might now be delayed for several years because of the skyrocketing cost incurred with the controversial Dublin project being built on the grounds of St James’s Hospital.

Cllr John Joe Culloty: Rapidly ageing population

Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, conceded that it is likely to lead to delays in other capital projects and while he didn’t specifically mention Killarney, it is thought that the Department of Health’s budget could be under too much strain to deliver.

The proposed 130-bed community nursing unit in Killarney is due to replace the two existing but dated community facilities in the town, Killarney District Hospital and St Columbanus’ Home.

KillarneyToday.com understands that the preliminary design is finished and the project has been reviewed at a meeting with planning officials.

Cllr John Joe Culloty has asked that, if the new hospital does proceed, it should include a day care centre for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

“We have an ageing population in Killarney and, in fact, it is one of the oldest if not the oldest in the country,” he said.

The numbers are there are they will keep going up and this facility is vital,” Cllr Culloty added.

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