An €85m extension to Cork University Hospital has been officially opened.

The Cardiac Renal Centre will centralise services for heart and kidney patients from a number of different sites to a single unit at Cork University Hospital.

The centre has been three years in construction and planned for almost a decade before that. It cost €68m to build and another €17m to equip.

The centralisation of treatment facilities for heart and kidney patients is a significant development because many people suffer from both cardiac and renal disease.

The new centre will provide facilities and treatment for more than 500 people in need of dialysis or kidney transplant, as well as for several hundred others with chronic kidney disease.

Dialysis patients will no longer have to attend for treatment in the middle of the night.