Healthcare group Mater Private is opening the doors on Monday at two new day hospitals in Dublin in what amounts to a €13 million investment by the business.
The new hospitals are located at Cherrywood in south Dublin and at Northern Cross in the north of the capital and will see Mater Private create 50 jobs. Both sites have been selected for their ease of access to people travelling up to the city from other parts of the State.
They will offer services across areas including cardiology, cardiothoracic surgery, radiology, orthopaedics and spinal surgery, the Mater says. The group says it plans to expand this range to include other specialities, such as cancer care, in the next 12 months.
A spokesman for Mater Private said that both purpose-built hospitals will allow patients to organise multiple appointments – from consultation with a consultant, to investigative imaging, testing and diagnosis as required, before reviewing results and agreeing treatment plan options – all in the same day at the same location.
‘Faster treatment plans’
He said this should alleviate pressure on patients, with “streamlined service leading to faster treatment plans”.
The investment should also shorten the time patients must wait between seeing their GP and accessing specialist treatment by up to six or eight weeks, Mater Private said.
John Hurley, chief executive of the Mater Private Network, said the investment was the most significant by the group in the past decade and marked a major step in expanding its healthcare offerings to patients.
“This new integrated approach will allow us to facilitate approximately 50,000 patient appointments each year, and deliver accelerated care in a safe, non-hospital environment,” he said.
“The opening of the both day hospitals will allow us to provide the best in specialist care through a unique same-day, same-location, patient-centric service, something which has not been seen in Ireland before.
“This, in turn, will bolster the positive experience of patients in their access to healthcare.”
The news comes just a matter of months after Mr Hurley warned staff that the healthcare group’s ability to treat patients, pay staff and meet its debts was “under threat”.
In an email to staff as the hospital group emerged from the three-month Covid-19 emergency takeover by the State, he wrote that the “danger to the Mater Private’s future is real and immediate”.
Mr Hurley said the healthcare sector would not escape the full impact of a recession, adding that he believed the sector would see “reduced hours, pay cuts and furloughs, protective notices and bankruptcies” in Ireland.
The Mater Private has 300 beds across its two hospitals in Dublin and Cork, as well as specialist oncology centres in Limerick and, via a joint venture, in Liverpool, England. It also runs a number of outpatient clinics in the Republic.
The company was bought for about €495 million in 2018 by French fund Infravia Capital Partners, which also owns the Carechoice chain of nursing homes in Ireland.
Mater Private, which employs about 1,450 people including more than 300 consultants, made an operating profit of €316,000 on turnover of €100 million in its first five months of ownership to the end of 2018, the most recent figures publicly available.