July 16, 2021
Health Care services in the Midwest need to be decentralised – Violet-Anne Wynne TD

Sinn Féin TD for Clare Violet-Anne Wynne has addressed the deterioration of access to primary health care services in the county in the Dáil.

Speaking to the Taoiseach she highlighted several key issues regarding people living in Clare having increasingly restricted access to primary and acute health services.

Teachta Wynne says:

“For some time now, I have been drawing attention to the fact that the curtailment of essential out-of-hours services such as Shannondoc in rural locations across the county, will have detrimental effects on access for people living rurally.

“I have been seeking updates on the proposed health care centre in Kilrush for months now, to no avail – progress seems to have stalled entirely.

“The fact that Shannondoc services have been cut, combined with the wind-down of many inpatient and acute health services in Ennis General Hospital have resulted in the current situation whereby University Hospital Limerick is the only Model 4 hospital in the state expected to serve a population of 500,000.

“This week alone the over-capacity operations at UHL have reached new critical levels. On Monday, 280 people presented to A&E, which is 85 people more than the pre-pandemic daily average.

“I am calling for a review of the procedures and services available in Ennis Hospital at present as one constituent has reached out to me and said that after being on a waiting list for a routine test in the hospital since October 2019, she has been referred to the Mater in Cork.

“It’s unclear how the services being provided in Ennis are being decided, with many seemingly being axed – constituents are being kept in the dark.

“It’s frightening that UHL consistently logs the highest trolley numbers in across the country, with 42 patients being accommodated on trolleys on Wednesday alone. We need to decentralise primary and acute health services, in order to take the pressure off UHL which is already buckling and far over-capacity.

“A group of 17 registrars and special registrars to UHL drafted a letter this week outlining their concerns and have warned of potentially catastrophic consequences if current practices continue without intervention.

“These trends are only going to get worse and action needs to be taken sooner rather than later if we want to avoid a health care emergency in the Midwest region.”

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