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Private for-profit hospital displaces promised psychiatric unit at Beaumont – Ó Caoláin

5 March, 2008


Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caolain has described as "an outrage" the confirmation by Minister of State Jimmy Devins in the Dáil today that the site earmarked for a long-promised psychiatric unit at Beaumont Hospital in Dublin has been allocated to a private for-profit hospital under the Government's infamous 'co-location' scheme.

Deputy Ó Caoláin stated:

"Minister of State Devins has confirmed that the plans for the new psychiatric unit at Beaumont have been changed to accommodate co-located private for-profit hospital. This is to take priority over a long-promised and essential psychiatric unit for mentally ill patients.

"Since before Beaumont Hospital was opened in 1987 people have been promised that a psychiatric unit would be developed there, replacing the unsuitable and antiquated facility at St. Ita's, Portrane. This promise has been repeated often but never been fulfilled. Now we find that the site earmarked for the new psychiatric unit has been allocated to the privateers who will develop their profit-driven hospital at Beaumont.

"The Irish Psychiatric Association has revealed that plans for the new psychiatric unit were at an advanced stage up to 2005. Minister of State Devins has today admitted that 'with a view to optimising the location of the range of capital projects planned for the Beaumont campus, a Development Control Plan process was initiated' and the plan 'has now identified an alternative site for the development of the acute psychiatric unit'. In other words the site of the promised unit has been shifted to accommodate the private for-profit hospital. While the private hospital is being fast-tracked we have no date for the delivery of the psychiatric unit.

"It seems that for the Government and the HSE the profits of shareholders in private corporations come before the needs of people with mental illness." ENDS

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