University Hospital Galway

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University Hospital Galway
Ospidéil na hOllscoile Gaillimh
Health Service Executive
Galway University Hospital.jpg
Location Newcastle Road, Galway City, Ireland
Care system HSE
Hospital type Teaching
Affiliated university NUI Galway
Emergency department Yes
Beds 708
Founded 1924

University Hospital Galway (formerly known as Galway Regional Hospital and then later as University College Hospital Galway) is the main acute hospital in Galway, Ireland.

It is a tertiary referral centre for a range of specialities including Urology, Oncology, Cardiothoracic Surgery and Cardiology. Together with Merlin Park University Hospital the hospitals comprise the Galway University Hospitals (GUH). These are the main Heath Service (HSE) hospitals in Western Ireland. GUH working with Roscommon hospital was seen as a pilot for the HSE "new hospital model" under Health Minister James Reilly, making it "master of its own destiny" according to then-CEO Bill Maher[1]. That group was expanded so that Galway University Hospitals became part of the West-Northwest hospital group, now called Saolta [2].

CEO Bill Maher was the subject of an internal audit revealing potential conflict of interest at the time of his appointment leading to the award of contracts without tendering worth approximately €338,000 to Northgate, an organisation Bill Maher held a consulting contract with at the same time [3]. At the time he was also in receipt of top-up payments from St. Vincent's Healthcare Group [4], and a top-up allowance for working in Galway [5]. He has since left the public health system.

Most acute medical services for the city and region are provided at University Hospital Galway. However other services such as non-acute Rehabilitation, Renal Medicine, Rheumatology and Elective Orthopaedics are provided at the Merlin Park University Hospital site. The Hospital is a designated Cancer Centre under the HSE's cancer control strategy, however certain supraregional services such as Neurosurgery are not available within the GUH group.

UHG lies west of Galway city centre, beside the National University of Ireland, Galway.


It is one of the major academic teaching hospitals in Ireland and is attached to NUI Galway. The Emergency Department at UHG is the regional centre for accident and emergency services in the Health Service Executive West. It treats on average 65,000 patients per annum. In-patient services include internal medicine, general surgery, breast surgery, geriatric assessment, infectious diseases, psychiatry, emergency medicine, intensive-care medicine, cardiology, cardiothoracic surgery, dermatology, gastroenterology, haematology, nephrology, neurology, oncology, palliative medicine, respiratory medicine, rheumatology, gastrointestinal surgery, colorectal surgery, maxillofacial surgery, ophthalmology, orthopaedics, otorhinolaryngology, vascular surgery, urology, obstetrics and gynaecology, paediatrics, anaesthesia, clinical pharmacology, radiology, and radiotherapy.


The Hospital was opened in 1956 having been developed on the campus of the old Galway Central Hospital. Only the Fever Hospital structure of this campus remains. Historical expansions included the extension of the Maternity Hospital and the addition of a Psychiatric Unit.

A major capital development programme, costing in excess of €100m has recently been completed. This development includes Radiotherapy, Intensive care unit, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Cardiology and Cardiothoracic Surgery. There is also a range of minor capital developments supporting specialities such as Endocrinology, Ophthalmology and Oncology.

Forthcoming developments include a Translation Medicine facility in association with NUI Galway on the University Hospital Galway campus. A major research association is with the Regenerative Medicine (REMEDI) Institute of the University.

Medical School[edit]

The Galway University Hospitals are the main teaching hospitals for the Medical School of National University of Ireland, Galway. The University is sited across the road from the University Hospital. Clinical teaching is provided at the University's Clinical Science Institute attached to University Hospital Galway. The current intake is approximately 190 student doctors annually. Additional teaching occurs at the University's teaching hospitals at the medical schools academies at Sligo General Hospital, Mayo General Hospital (Castlebar), Portiuncula Hospital (Ballinasloe) and Letterkenny General Hospital.


The CROI (croi meaning "heart" in the Irish language) charity is a large cardiology charity indigenously associated with the hospital.


Death of Savita Halappanavar[edit]

In October 2012, pregnant Indian lady Savita Halappanavar suffered a miscarriage and died after seeking treatment at the hospital. The death led to protests over Ireland's anti-abortion laws and investigations into the actions of the hospital during her treatment.[6] The inquest returned a verdict of "medical misadventure" on 19 April 2013.[7][8]

Overdose to gain admission[edit]

In 2015, the Connacht Tribune reported that a suicidal woman with special needs was told to go home and take an overdose if she wanted to be admitted to the hospital. The woman later jumped into the sea at Salthill.[9]


External links[edit]