Tuesday, 9 November 2021
Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate
I will take on board everything the Deputy has said. I want to acknowledge that things are at a critical stage, whether due to the Covid numbers or absenteeism. Absenteeism can include those with long-Covid but people are also absolutely exhausted working in horrific conditions, trying to support patient care and patient safety. It is unbelievable to think that the IT system in an emergency department is not up to standard. That will be conveyed directly back to the Minister. The lack of single rooms is one of the gravest areas which the Deputy just presented. Only recently, a nursing home near me was closed because it did not have single rooms. HIQA's view was that it was done for health and safety and the protection of the patients.
I will take on board what the Deputy has said. I will get confirmation from the Minister's office as to whether the visit to Kerry is taking place this Friday. The Deputy, his constituents and, most important, the people who work there need to know that it is taken very seriously.
We can see from the commitment in respect of University Hospital Kerry and the increase in the number of whole-time equivalent staff there that the Government is very serious in supporting the hospital. What the Deputy needs to see, however, is that those outstanding issues the consultants have written about will be addressed and that the special unit will prioritise the hospital in his area for the people he represents. Those people need to know that it is getting the priority it needs and, no different from any other hospital in any other part of the country, it is being treated equally and with the same level of urgency. I will get the Deputy those answers.