€150m Laois Hospital Project Completed

The completion of a major building project to develop an Irish hospital has been welcomed.

Funded under the National Development Plan at a cost of €150m and providing almost 1,000 jobs, the Midland Regional Hospital in Tullamore was declared open by the outgoing Taoiseach, Brian Cowen.

He said that the first hospital on this site was built in the late 1930s with a budget of £90,000, two thirds of which was provided by the Hospitals Sweepstakes Trust.

"The original hospital provided the range of services that were offered by County Hospitals at that time; medicine, surgery and maternity services.

"By the 1960s there was much discussion about how hospital services should be organised in the future and in 1968 the famous Fitzgerald Report recommended that the Regional Hospital for the Midlands should be located in Tullamore.

"The new Midland Health Board adopted this recommendation but their decision was overtaken by the report of a review of hospital services, established by Brendan Corish, Minister for Health, which came up with the concept of the Minimum Scale Hospital," commented the former Fianna Fail leader.

He explained that the Midland Regional Hospital as it is today now provides vital medical and surgical services for the people of Offaly and the surrounding catchment area. In addition the hospital is the regional centre for Orthopaedics, Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT), Oncology and Haematology Services, and Renal Services.

"These services are provided for the quarter of a million people who live in the catchment area covering Laois, Offaly, Longford and Westmeath," the former Premier concluded.


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