News & Media

Regional Hospitals Need 24-Hour A&E Consultants to Prevent Deaths

12 January 2020

Statement by Brendan Howlin TD
Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Northern Ireland

The Leader of the Labour Party, Brendan Howlin TD, has reacted to the Dublin Coroner’s report that 24-hour consultant-led A&E is needed to ‘prevent further deaths’ in regional hospitals,.

Brendan said: “This report makes it abundantly clear to me that the Government should immediately provide 24-hour A&E in all regional hospitals, led by emergency consultants.

“The argument for closing A&E departments does not stack up. With a disbursed population of nearly five million, and growing, Ireland needs a comprehensive hospital network that is fully staffed and operational. 

“The pressures on Limerick University Hospital caused by the closure in neighbouring hospital A&E departments proves the point. Just closing A&E departments is no solution if central hubs cannot cope with extra patients, and Limerick has been overwhelmed. The notion that the 18 hospitals with consultant cover can cope with the patients currently catered for by eight other regional hubs is clearly ludicrous.

“This is literally a matter of life and death, and the Government must act immediately to ensure all A&E departments are led by an specialist emergency consultant 24-hours a day, including in Wexford which serves a population of 200,000.”