Galway's Merlin Park campus should be considered as a location for a new hospital, according to the head of the west region's public hospital group.
Saolta University Health Care Group chief clinical director Dr Pat Nash has confirmed that the existing regional hospital at Merlin Park on Galway's east side should be considered for "developments into the future".
Dr Nash's statement has been welcomed by Oireachtas members for Galway/ Roscommon who attended a briefing by the Saolta group last Friday.
Galway University Hospitals have about 700 beds between them as a tertiary referral centre for the western region.
The campus is split between University Hospital Galway (UHG) and Merlin Park, with the bulk of major trauma unit and centre-of-excellence care for cancer and cardiac cases at UHG.
The Merlin Park campus had been considered for further development some years ago, and the idea was revived during the general election campaign by newly elected TDs for Galway West Hildegarde Naughton (FG) and Catherine Connolly (Ind).
Ms Connolly said on Monday she was delighted that “sense has prevailed”, while Sinn Féin Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh also welcomed the development.
Ms Connolly said that it was “refreshing” that both the Saolta group’s clinical director and manager of UHG had agreed that planning should begin immediately for a new hospital.