A new hospital to serve the midlands area could be built outside Tullamore in the next couple of years.
Offaly County Council has recently granted planning permission to John Flanagan Developments to build a new acute hospital facility near to the existing hospital in the county town.
It's understood that talks have been taking place for the past year between the development company, the HSE and some private providers.
The company had originally sought planning permission for a large nursing home but changed the design to a 99 bed hospital which could deal with elective surgeries in orthopaedics, ENT and other disciplines.
Dominic Doheny is joint Managing Director of John Flanagan Developments.
He says the parties they've been talking to are now carrying out their own studies to see if the project is something they want to be involved in:
Our discussions are probably at the same level with public and private.
Both parties are extremely interested and both parties have appointed their own independent consultants to look at this particular facility.
They are looking at pressure points and mapping out solutions to those pressure points within the overall midlands area.
Nobody is saying this is not a good idea or it is not wanted, so it is up to us to get it over the line.