Deputy TD Mattie McGrath has welcomed confirmation that the Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee (PAC) are set to investigate a €7 million over-spend at Our Lady’s Hospital Cashel.
Deputy McGrath was speaking after PAC said there are serious and legitimate matters that need to be investigated in light of the fact the not one patient can receive a bed at the facility which has received over €20 million in funding for refurbishment: “I wrote to PAC on December 12th of last year and demanded that there be an immediate investigation in to the travesty of having a facility like Casehl left idle in terms of patient beds and step down beds. Two new reconstructions at a total cost of €10.15 and €12.6 million have been spent on Our Lady’s since 2009.
However, the 2009 Regional Health Forum-South Report stated that Capital Budget for the project was €15 million, with construction of the development estimated to be completed by June 2010 with an additional 3-6 months to equip and commission the new areas. The fact that the refurbishment project is already almost €7 million over the initial Capital Budget was a cause of profound concern to me and I wished to have the matter examined.
“I also wished to draw attention to the fact that a member of the Southern/South East Health Forum has recently confirmed that Our Lady's Hospital Cashel will in fact never have patients on beds within the facility despite the 2009 Report referred to above clearly stating that the expenditure costs will provide facilities for: a 25 bed Geriatric Assessment Unit; a 20 -bed GP Assessment and Rehabilitation Unit; a 15-bed Nursing and Convalescent Unit; a 5-bed Palliative Care Unit.
This is to say nothing of the fact that on numerous occasions I have been assured that the facility at Our Lady's would accommodate a 25 Step-Down Bed service allied to South Tipperary General Hospital.
“ In view of these facts, I remain of the belief that the expenditure costs incurred to date can in no way be seen to represent a value for money approach re the use of public funds. “I therefore requested that an immediate investigation be conducted by the Committee in to this matter, which I am delighted to see that they acceded too,” concluded Deputy McGrath.