Reassurance sought over funding for nursing homes

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GOVERNMENT reassurance is now needed over €18 million in funding for two State-run Limerick nursing homes.

Fianna Fáil councillor James Collins warned that any shortfall in the €14.95 million funding approved for St Camillus’ Community Hospital in the city and the €3.09 million approved for St Ita’s in Newcastle West will affect more than 160 families who have elderly relatives in these State-run nursing homes.

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“Huge cost overruns in the Government plan to upgrade State-run nursing homes show the programme which was estimated to cost €385 million is now likely to cost €700 million. I’m concerned that St Camillus’ Community Hospital in the city and St Ita’s in Newcastle West could be caught up in this latest episode of cost overruns on major projects,” Cllr Collins said.

Limerick Metropolitan District Cathaoirleach James Collins.
Photo: Cian Reinhardt

“The overall budget for nursing home improvements nationwide is 81 per cent over budget. We need clarity from the Department of Health and the HSE that St Camillus’ Community Hospital and St Ita’s will not be downgraded or delayed in any way. A new unit for 20 elderly residents at St Ita’s has already been delayed until 2021.

“This Government has a well-earned reputation for mismanaging public funds and we now know that the €385 million plan to upgrade 90 State-run nursing homes is 80 per cent over budget and now likely to cost €700 million,” he said.

There was no response from the Department of Health at the time of going to print.