Funding withdrawn for new renal dialysis unit at Tallaght Hospital

by Mark O'Brien

The HSE has withdrawn funding that had previously been allocated to build a new Renal Dialysis Unit at Tallaght University Hospital.

Funding of €14.6m had been approved for the project in June 2017 but according to the minutes of the hospital’s January board meeting, the hospital were informed on December 20 that the funding had been withdrawn.

According to the minutes, the hospital board have expressed their disappointment to the HSE at the decision to withdraw funding.

The hospital currently have a dialysis unit but also outsources treatment to private companies, such as the Beacon Hospital.

Triona Murphy of the Tallaght Hospital Action Group told Dublin Gazette that she couldn’t understand the decision.

“There obviously is a need for a new dialysis unit otherwise the hospital wouldn’t have done so much work on design, getting the planning permission and funding was there for it,” she said.

“What really annoys me is I go through and I read strategy documents that come out left, right and centre from the HSE and the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group had a plan for the next five years in the Ireland 2040 document around building new health services.

“The renal unit is in all of those documents. The Ireland 2040 was published after the HSE said they didn’t have funding for the dialysis unit anymore.”

Triona added that she felt that it would be more costly to continue to send patients to private hospitals than build the new unit.

“It just doesn’t make sense to me. It’s probably more expensive to outsource patients to the Beacon.”

The hospital board have requested a meeting with the secretary general of the Department of Health and the director general of the HSE to discuss the issue.

A spokesperson for the HSE said: “The allocation of capital is managed by the HSE Estates and they have advised that the proposed new Renal Dialysis Project at Tallaght Hospital is expected to commence late 2018 / early 2019.

“The HSE and Tallaght Hospital will be in receipt of tenders by the end of Q3 2018 and a decision on the progression of the project will be made shortly thereafter.

“The anticipated total Project Cost is approx €14.6m.”

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