Seven new primary care centres have been completed as part of a ground-breaking public-private partnership to deliver 14 state-of-the-art facilities across the Republic of Ireland.
The new centres in Boyle, Tuam, Ballinrobe, Limerick, Claremorris, Ballymote and Kilcock are part of a €140m landmark programme to improve primary care infrastructure across the country.
Working on behalf of, and in collaboration with, the Health Service Executive, the project was delivered by a public private partnership (PPP) consortium led by healthcare property company, Prime; Balfour Beatty and InfraRed Capital Partners.
PPPs have previously been used for larger acute facilities. However, by ‘bundling’ the 14 projects together; the consortium was able to secure the investment required for the primary care programme.
This included the support of the European Investment Bank, which contributed 50% of the senior debt through the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI). The remainder was raised by Prime Balfour Beatty, in partnership with the NDFA, from commercial lenders.
The Health Service Executive’s primary care centre programme is a significant investment in Ireland’s healthcare infrastructure and provides a key building block for the Government’s health reform plans.
With a target to treat 90-95% of medical conditions in a primary care setting, the 14 new centres will provide significant support to the delivery of health care services by the HSE in a local setting.
Will Bilbrough, development director for Prime, said: “The completion of the first primary care centres under the PPP is a major milestone for the project and shows how the public and private sector can work together to deliver competitively priced infrastructure. It’s also an important milestone for boosting investor confidence in PPPs in Ireland and driving further private investment in the country’s infrastructure.”
Chris Funnell, construction and technical services director for Balfour Beatty Investments, added: “We are delighted to have been involved in the delivery of these fantastic new healthcare facilities and in doing so made a significant contribution to the local economy and community”.
Each primary care centre has been designed to meet the specific needs of the local patient population, while retaining a shared, standardised design to deliver best value for money.
Jim Curran, head of estates for the Health Service Executive, said: "Modern facilities such as the ones developed through this PPP project are essential to enable primary care teams to deliver high-quality integrated services as close to the patient as possible.”
Further primary care centres are still under construction in Dublin, Waterford, Mayo, Tipperary and Wexford as part of the 24-month build programme.
By improving primary care facilities, it is hoped to treat 90-95% of medical conditions outside of hospitals