Latest Laois News: Laois Head of Public Accounts Committee calls for clarity around HSE contract with Citywest Hotel
Full clarity needed around Citywest Hotel contract as costs hit almost €25m -Stanley
Sinn Féin TD Brian Stanley and Chair of the Public Accounts Committee has called for full clarity around the HSE’s contract with the Citywest Hotel complex after a PQ response revealed that €24,867,477 was handed over between 23rd March 2020 and 28th February 2021.
Speaking this afternoon, Deputy Stanley said:
“I appreciate that contracts were signed last year, and procurement processes were rushed due to the nature of the pandemic we were dealing with.
“However, the leasing of the Citywest complex at a cost of €24,867,477 over an 11-month period during which occupancy rate was very low calls for serious scrutiny.
“The PQ which I received last week from the HSE revealing this staggering cost comes off the back of concerns being raised around this contract for over a year.
“In the Dáil, colleagues of mine raised questions around a lack of transparency regarding the contract, that occupancy rates were clearly very low in the Citywest and that a break clause should have been inserted to end the contract early if it wasn’t needed.
“Deputy Sean Crowe, Chair of the Health Committee, also asked, considering the low occupancy rate, why the complex wasn’t used for nursing home patients or for those in Direct Provision centres where an outbreak was apparent.
“There are 1056 rooms in the Citywest complex, only 2,443 patients were admitted for self-isolation over the 11 months and at times the occupancy rate was as low as 26 patients.
“The HSE and the Government have serious questions to answer around this contract and I will be following this up with further questions to the Minister for Health.”