A charity working for people with cystic fibrosis (CF) in the Mid-West has warmly welcomed the official opening a new specialist €`16.5 million unit in Co Limerick.
It has said the unit will hugely improve the treatment of both adults and teenagers with the disease in the region.
Minister for Health Simon Harris officially opened the Leben Building at University Hospital Limerick, which was built after Cystic Fibrosis Ireland joined with the local Tipperary, Limerick and Clare branches and then came together with the Parkinson's Association and UHL Trust to raise funding.
Philip Watt, chief executive of Cystic Fibrosis Ireland (CFI), said the new unit would cater for up to 120 adult CF patients.
“One floor is an ambulatory care day centre and the other floor is a nine bed inpatient ward with en-suite facilities and hepa filtration to help prevent cross infection,” he said.
Owen Kirby of local Cystic Fibrosis group, TLC4CF (Tipperary, Limerick, Clare 4 CF) said the new unit, located on two floors of the six storey building, would transform services for adults and children over 16 with CF in the greater Limerick, Tipperary, Clare and North Kerry areas.
Mr Kirby said almost €6 million of the overall €16.5 million was raised by CFI and TLC4CF with support from the JP McManus Pro Am Foundation, making it one of the largest voluntary partnership projects in the history of the Irish health service.
He said the new building also included facilities to help improve services for patients with stroke, dermatology and breast cancer.
Mr Kirby said when the nine CF inpatient rooms are not needed for CF patients, they would be made available to other very ill patients that needed them.