Following a query raised by Cllr Gerry Reynolds at the February Regional Health Forum West meeting, on the hospital, HSE Area Manager for Sligo/Leitrim, Damien McCallion confirmed that capital funding of €250,000 had been provided for the development of the facility in 2012.
Mr McCallion said that the funding had been provided in the HSE Capital plan in 2012 for the development of Ballinamore Primary Care Centre and the managed care unit.
It was noted that the tender report on the hospital is now completed but Mr McCallion admitted that, given the level of funding in the Capital Plan for 2012 “I would not anticipate construction to start before quarter four, 2012”.
Cllr Reynolds said the funding was a positive step forward for the new hospital and added that he would continue to monitor progress on the facility.
Cllr Caillian Ellis (FF) also welcomed the news stressing the importance of adding such essential infrastructure in a town like Ballinamore.
Cllr Gordon Hughes (FG) was somewhat more reserved in his reaction to the news. While he said that any progress was welcome news he would be seeking a further meeting with Minister for Health James Reilly through Deputy Frank Feighan.
“I’d have preferred to see a guarantee that this project would start this year. I will be raising this matter with Minister Reilly and stressing the importance of moving forward with this new hospital,” he told the Leitrim Observer.