News & Media

Urgent response needed from Harris to tackle Limerick Hospital crisis

2 October 2019

Statement by The Labour Party

Labour TDs for the Mid-West region, Jan O’Sullivan and Alan Kelly have called for urgent and emergency measures to deal with the over-crowding crisis in University Hospital Limerick.

Deputy Kelly, the Labour Party Health spokesperson said:

“Trolley numbers in University Hospital Limerick have hit an all-time high of 82 today. This is unacceptable, for patients, families and hospital staff.

“Earlier this morning, I raised this issue directly with the Minister for Health and his officials, and to say the response I got was pathetic, is an understatement.

“We need real investment in UHL, in both a capital sense and a staffing sense. I am constantly in contact with officials from the hospital who tell me that if the HSE invested in an MRI scanner, it would clear some of the daily trolley backlog. The pathways for sending patients to the minor injury units in Nenagh and Ennis need to be widened.

“The Government have completely left behind UHL in their capital plan for the next three years, the 60 bed block will not open on time and who knows if the long promised 96 bed block will ever happen?

“It is time for Minister Harris to come forward with emergency proposals to deal with the crisis in UHL, and this needs to happen fast.“

Deputy O’Sullivan, the Labour TD for Limerick City added:

“How many people will it take to be on trolleys to shame the Minister of Health and the HSE into waking up to realities of the trolley crisis in UHL?

“ The Minister needs to deal with the staffing inequalities at UHL as the Mid-West region has less frontline staff per head of population than any other region.

“We know that we have been seeing rising figures all through the summer months with no real adequate response from Government and looking at the trends, we are in for a dangerous winter in UHL unless there is a real plan of action to tackle the capacity issues at UHL.

“No other hospital in the State is treated in the same manner as UHL, why are the health needs of the people of Limerick, Tipperary and Clare being ignored by Fine Gael?

“The Minister for Health needs to come forward with a real plan that is adequately financed to put patients, staff and their families at ease.”