The HSE has said it expected planning applications for extension and refurbishment works at Kanturk and Millstreet Community Hospitals to be lodged with Cork County Council within a matter of months.
The latest update has been welcomed by Cork North West TD Michael Moynihan (FF), who raised the issue in a recent parliamentary question to Health Minister Simon Harris requesting a status update on both projects.
In a reply the HSE's head of estates, Jim Curran, said the preliminary design layouts for both hospitals had been completed and the associated 'stage one' reports were currently being reviewed by his department.
Mr Curran said the appointed design team was in the process of collating planning application documents for both projects.
He wrote that it was anticipated an application for Kanturk would be lodged with local authority planners at the end of the final quarter of this year, with tender documents to issue in the second quarter of next year.
It is hoped the application for Millstreet will be lodged early in the New Year, with tender documentation to issue in the third quarter of 2019.
"All these time-lines are subject to statutory approval processes," he added.
Deputy Moynihan said he was pleased to see that headway was being made on the long-awaited twin projects and expressed his confidence that they will make significant strides forward in 2019.
"I have been working hard to put pressure on the Government and the HSE to make progress on these projects. Delays were experienced earlier in the process and we cannot allow any further delays to slow down the works," said Deputy Moynihan.
He said the bottom line was that it was imperative work commenced at the north Cork hospitals as soon as possible.
"Both are very important local facilities that are relied on heavily by the local community and these works are crucial to ensure a better quality of care for patients and peace of mind for their families," said Deputy Moynihan.
"As the local TD, I will continue to fight to ensure these vital works are completed as quickly as possible," he added.