Patients are lying on hospitals without dignity, space or hope of seeing a doctor according to Clare TD, Joe Carey.
Speaking at a protest at the weekend, Deputy Carey began by mentioning his previous involvement with the hospital’s development committee alongside Joe Arkins, Paddy Barrett, Brian Meaney, Tom Glynn along with Peadar McNamara and Paddy Naughton both of whom have since passed on to their eternal rest.
He lamented the loss of services in the county hospital down through the years. The most notable being the decision of Brian Cowen’s Fianna Fáil government to remove 24-hour emergency services from Ennis and Nenagh Hospitals in April 2009. “They have been centralised to Limerick and over the last week we’ve suffered greatly in terms of our health services, we ended up with figures of over six hundred people on trolleys and that’s not acceptable”.
“Minister Harris is to put resources in place to help alleviate that particular difficulty and those numbers have reduced to three hundred as I understand but we’re not out of the woods on that. I believe we need a long-term solution to the difficulties that we are faced with here on an annual basis here in the Mid-West, I believe we can have a greater role for Ennis, for St John’s and for Nenagh to alleviate the burden that is on Limerick on a constant basis and there is no reason why a patient can’t be looked after in Ennis after being referred to by the medical assessments unit which has been extended from five days to seven days”, the Clarecastle TD stated.
“We need more services in Ennis to deal with people, we need extended opening hours so people don’t just refer themselves to Limerick and that is what’s happening. The HSE basically have communicated to people what services are available in Ennis, we need to support our local hospital and I’ve asked that the Minister of Health would review the health services in the Mid-West and that he would look at extending the opening hours in Ennis and in St John’s and Nenagh to alleviate the burden on Limerick so that we won’t be here this time next year and we won’t be here in the next few months at these type of protest meetings, it’s not acceptable that people would be asked to lie on trolleys with no dignity no space no hope of being seen by doctors in this day and age that’s not on, it’s very difficult for frontline people like nurses and doctors to be working in those type of situations it’s not acceptable”.
He outlined the importance that the new A&E unit in Limerick opens on schedule and that it is fully staffed. “It’s important that the new A&E that’s virtually built in Limerick that it’s properly staffed and that it is opened on time at the end of May, it’s also important that the ninety six acute beds that are planned in Limerick that they would be resourced and staffed and that the €25m that has been identified would be forthcoming from government, I will certainly work with my colleagues and with this committee to ensure that happens”.
In 2010, while as a member of the opposition, the Fine Gael TD said a change in government would lead to “an overhaul of the healthcare system”.
His comments from 14th April 2010 read, “One year on and the confidence in the hospital and the ability of the HSE to provide a modern, efficient health service is at an all time low. The only solution at this juncture is a change of government, and an overhaul of the healthcare system. Fine Gael has such as plan called FairCare which will fix our broken health care system. Only then will we be able to adopt 21st century healthcare, where the patient comes first and not cost savings, and where all the people of this state can have confidence in their health care system”.