Government Chief Whip, Fine Gael TD for Galway West  Sean Kyne  has  called for planning permission for the new Emergency Department of University Hospital Galway to be sought without delay. The Minister expressed concerns regarding a decision to postpone seeking planning until after the completion of what’s termed an “options appraisal” report. 
He says he is extremely concerned by the delay in the submission of a planning application by the Saolta Hospital Group. 

The Minister’s call comes after after Saolta officials decided to delay lodging the planning application in order to carry out an appraisal which is due to be completed by the end of February, and  will evaluate the future use of both the Merlin Park and UHG sites.

Minister Kyne states that “it is unacceptable and unthinkable that planning permission for the new ED, the design of which is finalised, has not yet been submitted and is being held up by a consultant’s report on healthcare facilities in Galway”. 

“The current Emergency Department is not fit for purpose”, he says. “ It is neither an appropriate facility for the patients or the staff and was described as not fit for purpose by former Taoiseach, Enda Kenny”.

 Minister Kyne told Midwest News that he knows that Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and the Minister for Health Simon Harris are both of the same view and are anxious to make progress on the project. 

“The issue of the proposed elective hospital in Merlin Park is a completely separate issue. The options appraisal does not impact on the need for a new emergency department, which is universally accepted. In the interests of patients across the West and of healthcare staff the planning application for the new Emergency Department must be submitted without delay”, he concluded. 

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