€70m loan approved for 14 healthcare centres

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has approved a €70m loan in principle to create in 14 Primary Care Centres.

This represents up to 50% of the finance required to deliver the centres in the Public Private Partnership (PPP) project.

Work on the new centres is due to start in January 2016. Planning permission is already in place and depending on building size, some will be completed in around 12 months.

Since March 2011, 44 Primary Care Centres have already opened through direct investment by the State either by direct build or by means of the operational lease mechanism, with plans underway for a further 20 centres outside of the PPP project

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar said: “This is the EIB’s first ever investment in healthcare facilities in Ireland.

“It’s also our first ever PPP investment in Primary Care Centres. I hope it will encourage other investors to follow suit as the primary care centre delivery model offers a good fit for public and private financing.

“It’s fantastic news for patients and it’s a vote of confidence by the EIB in the Government’s strategy of investing in primary care facilities, and shifting the focus of healthcare away from hospitals and into the community.

“Patients at these new centres will benefit from the broader range of care services offered by local Primary Care Teams, similar to those already provided by the 44 Primary Care Centres which have opened since March 2011.”

Kathleen Lynch, Minister of State for Primary and Social Care also welcomed the announcement.

“Up to 95% of our healthcare should be delivered in the community,” she said.

“Developing our infrastructure to provide better facilities and ultimately better and safer care in the community has been a priority for the Government. This support from the EIB is validation of our policy.

“These centres will be home to services ranging from physiotherapy to speech and language therapy. It is a further step towards delivering the right care in the right place at the right time.”

The Centres will be open at least five days a week with extra hours at weekends and evenings for some services.


 

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