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New rehab centre plans are scrapped

PLANS for a regional rehab centre to ease mounting pressure on the national rehab facility in Dun Laoghaire have been scuppered.

The Government and health chiefs were slated today after a TD claimed that the hospital earmarked for the proposed southern rehab complex had now been designated a geriatric and mental health centre.

Former Sport Minister Bernard Allen claimed the Government had now "sounded the death-knell" for the southern rehab complex -- with all rehab treatments continuing to be focused on the over-stretched Dun Laoghaire facility.

The Cork TD said it was deeply worrying that Ireland would have to continue to rely on a single rehab centre for the entire country. "We had been told that a working group had been set up to handle the planning of the new regional rehabilitation centre to be based at St Mary's Orthopaedic Hospital in Gurranabraher, Cork," Deputy Allen told the Herald.

"Now it has become clear that all frontline services currently offered will be moved to the South Infirmary leaving St Mary's with (only) care of the elderly and mental health services.

"This effectively scraps the previously announced plans to develop a regional rehab centre at St Mary's."

Health and rehab campaigners had singled out St Mary's Hospital as the ideal location for a southern rehab centre which could ease pressure on Dun Laoghaire.