THE Capital Plan, which holds all the keys to unlocking some of Waterford’s most important health projects, has still not been published, despite Dept. of Health officials saying it was being “finalised” in January of this year.
Projects such as the mortuary and a second cath lab have received public approval but until they appear in the Capital Plan as certified projects, their futures remain uncertain. Fianna Fail General Election Candidate Eddie Mulligan has publicly criticised Waterford’s Government representatives for not demanding the “immediate publication” of the 2019 plan and a parliamentary question by his Fianna Fail colleague Stephen Donnelly this week received an insipid response from Minister Simon Harris who said that it would be completed “as soon as possible”.
“Almost daily we’re reading media reports about how the HSE is being forced to substantially change the capital plan because of massive overspend on the National Children’s Hospital,” Cllr Mulligan said. “Whilst many Ministers have allayed fears by reports of no projects being cancelled, it’s vital for us here in Waterford to read confirmation of the go-ahead for second Cath Lab, the new Mortuary in addition to completion of St Patrick’s Hospital (€12.4m) and the Palliative Care Unit and UHQ extension (€7.4m) and all other UHW National Service Plan 2019 indications.”
Cllr Mulligan said that Waterford have been “stung before” when it comes to Capital projects and despite criticism from TDs John Halligan David Cullinane in recent weeks he says that he’s “not going to blindly accept platitudes” from Government.
“I’m sure Minister Halligan and Deputy Cullinane have been given assurances by the Minister for Health but the people of Waterford need more than promises,” he said. “The Mortuary was promised before, and never materialised. A similar story with the second cath lab. The Government are clearly under a lot of financial pressure and our Government reps need to make sure that our projects are not shelved again.”