Fianna Fáil TD for Galway West and Party Spokesperson on Island Affairs Éamon Ó Cuív has slammed the consistent delays in building a new health centre on Inishbofin island. Plans for the health centre were at an advanced stage some eight years ago, but since then the project has been effectively stalled.
Deputy Ó Cuív explained, “The importance of a health centre for Inishbofin cannot be underestimated – there are 160 people living on the island and it is an extremely popular tourist destination. The current health facility is no longer fit for purpose and a new premises is urgently needed. The HSE itself acknowledges that a new health centre for Inishbofin is needed, but almost a decade on and very little progress has been made.
“This project has been bogged down in delays over the last number of years, frustrating islanders and visitors alike. The site, which had been approved for the health centre and nurses residence, has now been deemed unsuitable, so we are now effectively back at square one. This is a ridiculous situation and will further push out the timeline for the construction of these buildings.
“According to the HSE, the next action is to carry out an environmental assessment and planning assessment of local authority sites near the school on Inishbofin.
“The inability to provide necessary facilities within a reasonable time-span is bedevilling the provision of services that are urgently required. I am calling on the relevant authorities to examine these processes to see whether there is a more effective and speedy way of carrying out small developments like this. I will continue to press the Health Minister and the HSE on this issue to ensure that a fully functioning and suitable health centre is secured for the island”.