Health Minister Simon Harris lobbied to fund extension to St. Theresa's Hospital, Clogheen.
Health Minister Simon Harris was called on to sanction captial funding for a €1.35m extension and upgrade of St Theresa's District Hospital in Clogheen when he visited the hospital during his visit to the county.
The Minister met patients and staff during his tour of the 91 years-old district hospital and was shown plans for the extension that were on display in the Day Room.
St Theresa's has 18 beds and provides rehabilitation and respite care for the elderly and also hospice care services under the auspices of South Tipperary Hospice.
Tipperary Co. Council granted planning permission for its extension project in April. The plans include upgrading the existing facilities including the laundry, kitchen, cold room and staff facilities to meet HIQA standards.
It's also proposed to develop two new hospice suites and the three new single/twin rooms, and a secure garden and courtyard to ensure privacy and safety.
The new bedrooms, en-suites and ancillary accommodation will be in the extension and the more public areas, including the day room, oratory, administration, staff accommodation and kitchen will be accommodated in the existing building.
Local Fine Gael Cllr Marie Murphy, who invited the MInister to visit St Theresa's, said the Minister was hugely impressed with the hospital and the plans for its extension and upgade.
Cllr Murphy highlighted to the Minister that an estimated €400,000 has been raised in the locality to support the St Theresa's Hospital project and she asked the Minister to ensure the hospital will be included in the next round of government capital funding.
"When the proposed extension is fully finished, St Theresa's will be a modern hospital and have a complement of 19 beds. The construction of Phase 1A and 1B went out to tender in July and quotations were received towards the end of August," she outlined.
She said it made economic sense to extend and upgrade St Theresa's Hospital. The cost of accomodating patients in beds in St Theresa's was far lower than accommodating them in acute hospital beds in South Tipperary General Hospital.
After viewing the plans, Minister Harris was told about the fundraising efforts for the hospital spearheaded by the Friends of St Theresa's Hospital, the Clogheen Hospice Suite Construction Fund and Boston Scientific.
Sr Aine Power gave Minister Harris a brief history of the fundraising undertaken by the Friends of St Theresa's over many years and Keith Savage of Clogheen Hospice Suite Construction Fund spoke of how he got involved in the fundraising and the considerable public support they received for their fundraisers including a Christmas event featured on RTE's Ear To The Ground.
Boston Scientific, represented by JP Fitzpatrick, nominated St Theresa's as its charity due to the efforts of the Clogheen Hospice Suite Construction Fund. South Tipperary Hospice is also committed to St Theresa's.