April 24, 2024
Urgent action needed to address crisis at University Hospital Limerick – Mary Lou McDonald TD

Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald has called for urgent action to address the crisis at University Hospital Limerick.

Speaking today in the Dáil, she called for the additional beds that the hospital needs to tackle overcrowding, as well as an urgent end to the recruitment embargo so the hospital can have the staff it needs.

Teachta McDonald said:

“Over the last few days people have listened in horror to the testimony presented at the inquest into the death of sixteen-year-old Aoife Johnston.
Aoife died in University Hospital Limerick on December 17th, 2022. The inquest is ongoing, and we await the verdict. 

“Taoiseach, I raise Aoife’s case because it speaks in the most heartbreaking way to the depths of the crisis at UHL.

“The chaos in the emergency department that Aoife and her family faced that night is what faces patients and staff all the time. UHL is in a constant state of emergency because it simply does not have the level of staff or beds it needs to deal with demand.

“The result is chronic overcrowding, persistently high trolley counts, and people denied healthcare with thousands of appointments cancelled every month. 

“The hospital is short two hundred vital staff. The panels are in place, but staff can’t be recruited because of your embargo. This blocking of recruitment, when a hospital is on its knees, just beggars belief.

“To get ahead of this crisis, the hospital also needs 288 additional beds, and it needs them to be delivered rapidly. 

“Here’s what you must do, Taoiseach. Firstly, end your dangerous recruitment embargo so that UHL has the staff it needs to meet demand. Secondly, deliver the additional beds that the hospital needs with urgency to tackle overcrowding. And thirdly, invest ambitiously in local out-of-hours community health services to relieve pressure on the emergency department.”

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