DROGHEDA IS to get a new mental health hospital, with work to start on it before the end of this year.
It will be a 33-bed facility and contracts are expected to be finalised on the project shortly.
Deputy Gerald Nash has been working with Minister of State Kathleen Lynch and Cllr Paul Bell to forward the facility without delay.
'I have been assured that the HSE expects contracts for the development of the substantial 33-bed unit on the HSE owned land at Crosslanes to be signed off in the next few weeks with work to commence well before the end of 2012,' Deputy Nash stated.
'With a short contract period expected, I would anticipate that the new unit which will provide much needed, modern and progressive supports for those with acute mental health needs to be established and open in early 2013 or early 2014.
'Along with the addition of 8 acute medical beds under the new HSE plan for 2012 at the Lourdes Hospital, this is further evidence of Labour delivering in government for Louth and for the Drogheda area,' he added.
He has further welcomed the announcement that an additional €1 million has been allocated to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda which will see eight new acute medical beds opened and the expansion of the Medical Assessment Unit this year.
' This is a very welcome development. I have been working to ensure that more investment is provided to the Lourdes as our de facto regional hospital.
'Where other parts of the regions and the country are experiencing bed closures, the Lourdes will in fact have bed increases.
'In addition, more day and diagnostic services will be provided at the Louth County Hospital in 2012 also.
' The further development of the Medical Assessment Unit at Our Lady of Lourdes will see it opened for 16 hours a day, seven days a week, building on the work already done to reduce waiting times at the Lourdes Emergency Department.'