Dáil debates

Wednesday, 25 January 2023

Ceisteanna ar Pholasaí nó ar Reachtaíocht - Questions on Policy or Legislation


12:57 pm

Photo of Violet-Anne WynneViolet-Anne Wynne (Clare, Sinn Fein) | Oireachtas source

In the past year, over 16% of the population of the mid-west went to University Hospital Limerick, UHL, for unscheduled urgent care. We have all read and heard the horror stories. Unfortunately, a lot of them are true. I am sure the Taoiseach saw the thousands of angry people who took to the streets of Limerick on Saturday. We know the hospital is stretched far beyond capacity and the staff are stretched beyond breaking point. It is the only emergency department that serves more than 470,000 people. The mid-west has a disproportionately ageing and disadvantaged population in comparison with the rest of the Republic. It is the only region where there is one stand-alone model 4 hospital with no model 3 facility to support it. Under the Taoiseach's previous two Governments, people have died on the road in Loop Head and Liscannor waiting for an ambulance to reach them in time. Is this our rural future? The Taoiseach is a trained doctor. He cannot seriously look me in the eye and say this is acceptable. The case has never been stronger to reinstate emergency department services at Ennis. The people of the mid-west, particularly in Clare, want the Government to see sense on this issue and to put a task force in place to start the process.


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