PROPERTY DEVELOPER Owen O’Callaghan has begun preliminary discussions with a number of private healthcare companies with a view to establishing a €60 million 100-bed private hospital in Cork city.
O’Callaghan Properties is to apply to Cork City Council for planning permission within the next month for the new private hospital on the site of the former Jurys Hotel on the Western Road in the city.
O’Callaghan Properties has already built a new hotel for Jurys and some 175 apartments on the five-acre site, but the company has dropped plans to build a further 100 apartments in favour of developing the new private hospital which will not require any change of zoning.
A spokesman for O’Callaghan Properties confirmed that preparatory planning work was well advanced for the six-storey hospital which, standing on a two-acre portion of the site, was expected to free up beds for public patients in existing city centre hospitals in Cork.
And he confirmed that O’Callaghan Properties had already held preliminary discussions with private healthcare companies Mount Carmel Medical Group and the Sheehan Medical Group with a view to operating the 100,000sq ft hospital.
The O’Callaghan Properties spokesman said the Jury’s Hotel site was viewed as being a very favourable location given its proximity to the Mercy University Hospital and the South Infirmary Victoria University Hospital and Cork University Hospital. “Following discussions with a number of consultants in the area, it was felt the site was ideal by virtue of its proximity to both the Mercy and to the South Infirmary Victoria as well as UCC and the Cork Clinic on Western Road,” he said.
“It’s also convenient to Cork University Hospital which is only 10 minutes’ drive away, and the site is already well serviced with some 500 underground parking spaces,” he added.
The O’Callaghan Properties spokesman added that another attractive feature of the site was its proximity to the newly refurbished Jurys Hotel which would offer accommodation for anyone visiting a patient.
The hotel could also be used by patients travelling to Cork and wishing to stay overnight before undergoing day procedures at the hospital in line with a policy adopted by some Dublin hospitals which had been praised by HSE chief executive Prof Brendan Drumm.
The O’Callaghan Properties proposal is the latest in a series of private hospital initiatives in Cork and follows an application by the Beacon Medical Group to establish a €242 million private hospital on the grounds of Cork University Hospital.