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HSE spends over €1.3m to upgrade HQ

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Dr Steevens Hospital building

Dr Steevens Hospital building

Dr Steevens Hospital building

Over €1.3m has been spent over the last two years on refurbishment works on the HSE's flagship Dr Steevens' Hospital building.

Repairs to the pitched roof, replacing old sash windows in "poor condition", and upgrading the kitchen area and equipment were among the list of works undertaken at the building opposite Hueston Station in Dublin 8.

A number of rooms were also refurbished in the building.

Upgrading the female toilets upstairs to comply with health and safety regulations, came with a price tag of nearly €37,000.

The bill for works completed in the library came to €10,589, which included the installation of WIFI and data points, a new carpet and wooden panelling, the figures show.

Meanwhile, among the works planned for this year are "a fire upgrade", according to information supplied under the Freedom of Information Act.

Speaking about the overall price tag for the works, Independent TD Finian McGrath told the Herald that he believed that every penny should be spent on frontline care in the health services.

He said the money would go a long way to providing some community beds for the elderly, or alleviating the situation regarding waiting lists, and tackling the emergency department crisis.

Frontline

"Priority funding should be given to frontline services, and that is what this Government promised," Mr McGrath said.

"I wouldn't agree that this is necessary work in the current climate."

In its breakdown of expenditure over the past two years, the HSE said that there were no works carried out at its Oak House Office in Millennium Park in Naas, "other than maintenance service contracts and there are no planned works for 2015".

A statement from the HSE said that Dr Steevens' Hospital is a protected structure, therefore the HSE are obliged "to maintain same".

"In order to comply with health and safety requirements the monies spent to date have been on the structural upkeep of this protected structure which included significant works on restoring the roof and waste treatment," the statement added.

Dr Steevens' Hospital is the HSE's corporate headquarters.

It opened its doors to the public almost 300 years ago.

fdillon@herald.ie


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