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Over €13m funding boost for Kerry health care services

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By Michelle Crean

Kerry healthcare services are set to receive a €13.11m boost in funding this year which will greatly enhance their services.

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University Hospital Kerry (UHK) will receive over €12.5 million in funding this year for a host of key projects including over €6.5 million to fund a state-of-the-art new Blood Science Project creating a vertical extension and the refurbishment of the existing pathology laboratory.

Cahersiveen Community Hospital will receive €140,000 for the provision of a new Ambulance station, while Listowel Community Hospital will receive an investment of €160,000 which will facilitate the refurbishment and extension of a 33 bed facility.

Nationally the health capital funding available in 2022 for the construction and equipping of healthcare facilities is €1.02bn, an increase of 4% on 2021.

Cahersiveen Community Hospital will be given €240,000 for the provision of a new ambulance station and the HIQA compliance refurbishment and extension of 33 beds.

Listowel Community Hospital is set to get €160,000 for the JIQA compliance and extension of 24 beds.

As part of the €12.5 million funding for UHK €20,000 will be for construction works to allow for the installation of a second CT scanner, €1.13 million in funding to build five new single en-suite rooms in an existing orthopaedic ward, €600,000 in funding to enhance maternity birthing development including triage assessment, an antenatal ward, single bed induction rooms, birthing rooms and ancillary accommodation, €1.8 million will fund the provision of an additional theatre (Obstetrics), plus upgrade of an existing theatre and vertical extension, while €1.1 million will be spent on the replacement of key water infrastructure. €750,000 will cover installation of a new emergency lighting system, while €300,000 will go towards the reconfiguration of the existing High Dependency Unit. €250,000 will be spent this year on the upgrade and extension to the Oncology Ward.

“I welcome the significant investment of over €13 million in healthcare facilities which is a clear endorsement of the excellence in vital healthcare provision delivered on a daily basis throughout the county,"
Minister Foley said.

"This funding will significantly enhance the provision of vital local services in the county. I also welcome the important investment in University Hospital Kerry which will provide for an extension and refurbishment to establish a new Blood Science project, the improvement of maternity facilities and the provision of a new obstetrics operating theatre which will improve and enhance the already excellent facilities available. I have consistently advocated for enhanced and additional health services in the county with Minister Donnelly and I wish to thank him for this significant investment in the provision of healthcare services in Kerry.”

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Killarney hotels are still open for business

By Sean Moriarty Only a few of the town’s 37 hotels are homing displaced people – according to Bernadette Randles, chair of the Kerry branch of the Irish Hotel Federation. […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Only a few of the town’s 37 hotels are homing displaced people – according to Bernadette Randles, chair of the Kerry branch of the Irish Hotel Federation.

This week she said that there’s still accommodation to be found in Killarney for visitors.

She was speaking in relation to the current accommodation situation facing International Protection Applicants and Ukrainian war refugees.

She explained that there is a perception that Killarney has taken in too many refugees and that it is putting the tourism industry at risk as people are starting to think that the town is at full capacity.

“If you can’t get a room in Killarney there is something wrong,” she said. “Maybe with the exception of New Year’s Eve.”

She added that hotels that are providing emergency accommodation are helping off-season unemployment.

Many hotels remain in survival mode after two years of pandemic turmoil and the additional off season business is important, she explained.

“Many could be closed at this time of the year, others would not be operating at full capacity,” she added.

However, she warned the Government needs to put a plan in place before the tourism season starts next year. Some hotels offering emergency accommodation either have a three or six month contract.

“I can see there will be tears next April – the Government must have a long-term plan,” she said.

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Homing refugees worth almost €14m

By Sean Moriarty Hotels, B&Bs and other accommodation suppliers in the Killarney area have secured contracts in excess of €13 million to accommodate Ukraine war refugees. The Department of Children, […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Hotels, B&Bs and other accommodation suppliers in the Killarney area have secured contracts in excess of €13 million to accommodate Ukraine war refugees.

The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth released figures to the Killarney Advertiser.

Documents show that contracts totalling €13,852,255.00 are being shared between 13 premises in the Killarney urban area.

However, the department warned these figures are “indicative” only and the full value of the contracts depends on “occupancy and actual usage”.

The Eviston Hotel has secured a contract worth €5,727,590.00, the Innisfallen Hotel in Fossa for €2,404,620.00 and The Hotel Killarney signed a deal worth €1,701,000.00. These are the three biggest contracts published in the documentation.

This is only the tip of the iceberg, and Department officials say more contracts could come on stream. Figures seen by the Killarney Advertiser only cover contracted premises up to the end of September this year and updated figures are only released every three months.

“We are in contract with far more, but the formal exchange of contracts can take place sometime after the service commences,” a department spokesperson told the Killarney Advertiser.

“The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth is obliged to publish a list of contracts formally signed off each quarter that have been awarded under a special EU Derogation that permits the Department to enter into contracts in the context of the Ukraine accommodation crisis without going to formal tender.

“The values of the contracts shown are estimates; the actual value materialises upon occupancy and actual usage. Standard contracts have no-fault break clauses available to both parties so again, the figures are indicative rather than actual.”

These figures only cover Ukrainian refugees fleeing the war and do not include International Protection Applicants.

The Department refused to release International Protection Applicant figures to the Killarney Advertiser.

“The International Protection Applicant accommodation contract information is commercially sensitive information and is not available,” added the Department spokesperson.

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