Seanad debates

Tuesday, 5 March 2024

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business


1:00 pm

Photo of Garret AhearnGarret Ahearn (Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

I second the amendment by my colleague, Senator McGahon.

I too want to raise University Hospital Limerick. I concur with comments made by Senator Dooley about management of the hospital. At some point last year, Fine Gael had Private Members' business here with my other colleagues from the region, Senators Maria Byrne and Conway. Since then, nothing has got better. The Minister has put in extra funding but nothing has changed. It has actually got worse. There are more than 140 people on trolleys today, which is the second highest number in the history of the hospital. More beds have been put in place. Even if the 96-bed modular unit which is being talked about is put in, there would still be 50 people on trolleys. It is outrageous. In Clonmel, in Tipperary University Hospital, we built a 40-bed modular unit just two years ago and the trolley crisis in the hospital has dramatically reduced. Waterford is able to have very few people on trolleys.

As has been said, this is one of the first winters where we have not seen the yearly crisis of numbers on trolleys at a national level. There is something seriously wrong in University Hospital Limerick where more than 140 people have to be put on trolleys. People have died while on trolleys. It has got to the point, in my view, where the Minister has to personally intervene and, as has been suggested, set up an independent investigation into what is happening. We are at a point in Tipperary where people just do not go to University Hospital Limerick because there is no point. They are almost safer being at home than going to the hospital. While other hospitals seem to have been able to solve this problem over the winter period, University Hospital Limerick has not been able to do that. It certainly has not been able to give sufficient answers to us when we ask questions about why it has not been able to do it.


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