Renal dialysis unit: pressure mounts on HSE to sort out planning mess
Pressure is mounting on the HSE to come up with a speedy solution to the embarrassing debacle over a much-needed satellite renal dialysis centre in County Wexford.
Fresenius, the company awarded the tender for the project, was refused planning permission to provide the service at the old Acorn Fashions building in Whitemill Industrial Estate, as exclusively reported in this newspaper last week.
The planning decision was an unexpected setback as the site had been assessed and approved by the HSE during an extensive evaluation process before awarding the service agreement tender to Fresenius Medical Care (Ireland) Ltd, a subsidiary of a German-based company which is one of the largest providers of dialysis services around the world.
Since then, there has been no official statement from the HSE on the issue although a PR company spokesman for South/South West Hospitals Group including University Hospital Waterford which will oversee the Wexford dialysis service, said 'it will have to be reviewed' and 'we will have to look at the options'.
As far back as January 29 this year, in correspondence with South/South West Hospitals Group general manager Richard Dooley, then Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin said 'this matter has dragged on for an inordinate period of time'.
Deputy Howlin said he was concerned that the Wexford project remained in the 'unit should be in operation' phase.
Mr. Dooley replied that 'barring any unforeseen obstacles, it is planned that the new service will commence in October 2016.'
It is now almost September 2016 and the Wexford dialysis unit is back to square one, more than seven years after it was first identified as an urgently needed service in the county.