St Luke's Hospital
It will be another two years before the long-awaited MRI scan machine is up and running at St Luke’s Hospital, according to HSE estimates.
Last week, the Kilkenny People revealed that the Friends of St Luke’s Hospital had concerns about the delivery of the machine, having reached their target fundraising contribution for it in 2016. Funding commitments were given in July by Minister for Health Simon Harris on a visit to the hospital. However, Chairman of the Friends Declan McCann said there had no update since.
In a statement, the HSE confirmed to the Kilkenny People that funding has been included in the 2019 Capital Plan to commence the work, which will include significant service rerouting and ‘enabling’ work, in Q3/Q4 of 2019.
Due to the extent of the the works involved, the construction will take between 15 and 18 months. This translates to a possible completion date of late 2020 or possibly up to mid-2021.
"Site surveys indicate that an appreciable amount of existing building services will have to be rerouted prior to the building works commencing and the electrical infrastructure system will also require to be upgraded," said the statement.
"The full extent of these works were not included in the projects cost. These works may be included in an enabling works package or tendered with the main works. From a funding perspective, funding has been included in the 2019 Capital Plan to commence these works in 2019 (Q3/Q4). Due to the extent of the enabling works the construction period will be 15 to 18 months."
Meanwhile, local TD John Paul Phelan has said tender documents for the construction of a new building to house the MRI will be issued in the first quarter of next year.
“I’m as frustrated as anyone with the delays on this project," said.
"It’s now two years since the Friends of St Luke’s reached their fundraising goal. We are extremely fortunate to have such a fundraising group working on behalf of the people who use this hospital."