No money, no co-location

Beacon Medical Group’s co-located hospital at the Mid-West Regional in Limerick is the first in the country to get a final grant of planning permission, after two appeals to An Bord Plean├íla – one involving Socialist Party leader Joe Higgins – were both deemed invalid.
However, after months of high-stakes talks, the whole future of Health Minister Harney’s co-location strategy now hangs on events due to unfold over the coming week.
“There are three hospitals that we want to get signed up now,” a HSE spokesperson said. The HSE says it is ‘very, very confident’ that project agreements (PA) for co-located hospitals at St James’s in Dublin and at the Waterford Regional Hospital will be signed very shortly.
The HSE has asked for updates and clarifications from all the consortia but has insisted that the documentation must be finalised by the end of July. The Synchrony consortium has now agreed a date – before the end of August – when it will sign a Project Agreement for St James’s. Synchrony will also post the required €20 million bond with the HSE.
A PA for Sligo, where Mount Carmel Medical Group (MCMG) is the preferred bidder, will certainly take a month longer than at MCMG’s other co-location in Waterford and at St James’s. Beacon would be offered the contract to build these two hospitals, should deals not be signed. Sligo is described as a ‘disaster of a site’, built on top of a hill. The technicalities of joining the proposed and the older parts of the hospital are difficult. The Waterford Co-location Consortium is to build the hospital in that city and MCMG will be the operator there.

Read the full article here in the Irish Medical Times

For everything else there's Mary Harney


And the Seanad too

We weren't expecting anything different, hoping maybe but certainly not expecting any better. The lack of faith, illustrated best by the small turnout of campaigners said it all. These people had been lied to before and why travel all the way to Dublin to be lied to again.
The senators debated, the senators voted and the motion was defeated.
Read the full debate here...

'Talk is cheap' one of these senators said to me back in April as we briefly spoke after a public meeting in Ballina. I had just listened to him tell the packed conference room about his concern for Sligo's cancer services. 'Family first, the Northwest second and Fianna Fail third' was how he passionatley described his priorities. I didnt believe it then but why not give the young senator the benefit of the doubt?
I did and he was right, talk is cheap.
All we've heard is talk, not alone do these senators contradict each other, they manage to contradict themselves. We're not supposed to notice but we do, we're not supposed to challenge them but we do, yet it makes no difference. So what is the point?

What does it take to get your government to notice?
We've had the protests, the motions and even a concert. We produced the medical evidence, they ignored it, we tried to reason with them they refused to speak to us.
So what will it take? I think we know the answer but are we willing?

....I'm going home


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