Health Minister on first visit to Ennis hospital

Health Minister on first visit to Ennis hospital


Photo: © Pat Flynn 2015
Health Minister Leo Varadkar during his visit to Ennis General Hospital today – Photo: © Pat Flynn 2015

Health Minister Leo Varadkar has said he can see more surgery work being carried out at Ennis General Hospital in the future which would help keep waiting lists down.

The Minister visited the hospital this afternoon as part of a busy day of engagements in the county.

He had earlier addressed delegates at IMPACT’s Health and Welfare Divisional Conference being held in Ennis this week.

Speaking to reporters before making his conference address the Minister said: “I’ve been very keen to visit Ennis hospital and want to see it before I express any views on it.”

Later he visited the hospital where he was met with senior management.

Photo: © Pat Flynn 2015
Minister Leo Varadkar is greeted by management at Ennis General Hospital – Photo: © Pat Flynn 2015

Speaking about the future of the Ennis hospital, Minister Varadkar said: “I think Ennis will play a very important role as part of the University of Limerick Hospitals Group. It’s already doing a lot of surgery and other procedures because it’s not overwhelmed by having an emergency department and appointments and operations don’t get cancelled like they do in the bigger hospitals.”

“I can actually see Ennis and Nenagh doing more, picking up more work and doing more scheduled surgery in outpatients and help us get those waiting lists down,” the Minister added.

Earlier, the Minister told the IMPACT conference in Treacy’s West County Hotel, that pay restoration for public servants is ‘well deserved.’

He told the over 600 delegates however: “As a member of the Cabinet, I would find it very hard to support a pay deal that comes at the expense of public services. There should never be a conflict between what is good for staff and what is good for patients and taxpayers but if such a conflict arises it is my duty to be on the side of taxpayers and patients and that is a judgment call I am ready to make,” the Minister said.

Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.