A NEW private state-of-the-art €75m hospital has opened its doors.
The facility, operated by Mater Private Healthcare, and located at Citygate, beside Mahon Point Shopping Mall in Cork, will create 150 jobs.
The hospital has had a turbulent start-up period but the previous problems have been ironed out.
It initially opened in late 2010 but closed in March 2011 after just six months when it failed to get the VHI to agree to cover patients admitted there.
The opening of the Mater Private Cork follows almost two years of discussions between Mater Private Healthcare and the VHI, which will provide cover for the hospital.
Mater Private Healthcare acquired Shanakiel Private Hospital on the northside of the city. The company closed down Shanakiel in the days before Christmas and this allowed the hospital operators to move the consultants and staff to the new hospital at Mahon.
The 75-bed hospital is the first private hospital to open in Cork since the Shanakiel Hospital opened 90 years ago.
The hospital is designed specifically to limit the spread of deadly infection such as MRSA and C.Diff with 75 single in-patient bedrooms all air conditioned with fixed windows which cut down on the risk of infections spreading.
There are six top-of-the-range operating theatres, four in-patient and two day surgeries as well as an intensive care unit and radiology facilities including MRI, CT and X-ray scanners.
The purpose-built hospital, with staff numbering 150, is located in Mahon's City Gate development built by developer John Cleary.
Mater Private Healthcare chief executive Fergus Clancy said the opening was a significant development which would build on the fine service provided by Shanakiel.
"The Mater Private is committed to providing continuity of care for patients from Shanakiel during this transition period and, once this is completed, we will turn our attention to the delivery of new and enhanced services," he said.
Mater Private Healthcare has operated for the past 25 years and runs similar facilities in Dublin, Limerick, Navan and Drogheda.