It could be 2019 before the promised new modular orthopaedic theatres for Merlin Park Hospital in Galway will be in place. The urgently required temporary structures have been stalled due to a delay by the HSE in appointing a contractor.

The matter was raised by the Cathaoirleach of the HSE West Forum, Headford based councillor Mary Hoade at the May meeting of the Forum.

Councillor Hoade said that the additional theatre space was promised to be in place by October of this year, but with no contractor yet appointed and no planning permission sought for the development, its delivery within the promised time frame is unlikely.

HSE Management confirmed that there has been a delay in appointing a contractor and as a result the October delivery date is unlikely.

The modular theatres were proposed last September, when two orthopaedic theatres at Merlin Park were forced to closed due to structural problems. One of the two has reopened since.

However, the waiting list for hip and knee surgeries across counties Galway, Roscommon and Mayo is increasing, with intense pressure on the one working theatre at present.

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