News & Media

O’Sullivan says opening of 60 bed unit in 2020 can’t be just a pre-election stunt

6 January 2020

Statement by Jan O'Sullivan
Spokesperson on Housing & Local Government, Enterprise & Innovation

Limerick Labour T.D Jan O'Sullivan is calling on the Health Minister to be crystal clear on the timeline for the opening of the 60 bed modular unit at UHL.

Deputy O’Sullivan said:

“Minister Harris must give the people of the Midwest clarity on the exact time for the construction, fit out and recruitment of staff for the 60 bed modular unit at UHL. In recent days we have heard contradictory reports from the Chief Executive who says the block won’t be ready until 2021 and the board who says the unit will open before the end of this year.

“2019 was the worst year on record for all the hospitals in the country but in particular for UHL, which has caused dreadful suffering for patients and staff. We were promised by Minister Harris and by local Fine Gael representatives that the 60 bed block would be ready before the end of the year.

“We have seen this before with Fine Gael when they have announced and promised projects with ambitious plans and glossy launches with little actual delivery.

“I am calling now on Minister Harris to give the people of the Midwest some relief by laying down a line in the sand that the 60 bed unit will be completed and staffed before the end of the year.

“The revelation that there are now 92 people on trolleys at UHL means this is now a national emergency and should be treated as such. The Minister needs to allocate additional emergency funding in addition to the €26 million euro winter plan in order to open all available beds and to end the HSE’s recruitment pause now.”