A protest demanding the temporary reopening of the Ennis General Hospital Accident & Emergency Department takes place this Sunday.
Organised by the ‘Friends of Ennis General Hospital’ Facebook page, the event which is being advertised as a public meeting/protest takes place in O’Connell Square, Ennis on Sunday at 3pm.
Since 2010, the ‘Friends of Ennis General Hospital’ page has been used sporadically, mainly prior to changes in the hospital facilities or to draw attention to the plight of Ennis Hospital in the run up to local and general elections.
In a statement released to The Clare Herald, organisers highlighted how much has changed in the hospital since the page was created. “The A&E was downgraded first to an 8am-8pm service then removed completely. We were given a Local Injuries Unit (Now a Minor Injuries Unit) while being promised a centre of excellence at Limerick that has not yet materialised
“Colonoscopy services were allocated to Ennis, to coincide with the opening of the hospital extension, while at the same time our Intensive Care unit was closed and our diagnostics equipment was removed from Ennis. The theatres in Ennis hospital remain fully equipped but completely under utilised”.
Health services in the Mid-West “have reached crisis-point” according to organisers of the protest. “The aim of Sunday’s planned meeting is not to call for a permanent restoration of Accident and Emergency services in Ennis General Hospital, but rather to re-open our ED on a temporary basis until the centre of Excellence in Limerick opens, however long that might take.
“We accept that Ennis General will not have the facilities to deal with patients with sudden serious Cardiac or Neurological issues and would recommend that such patients be stabilised in Ennis and transferred directly to the appropriate ward in UHL for treatment.
“Realistically, Ennis General is for the main part, lying idle while the patients it was meant to serve are subjected to cruel and unusual punishment by being forced to attend an ED which is neither fit for purpose nor is it safe from a health perspective not to mind the Fire Safety concerns which must be considered given the level of overcrowding”.
As it stands no formal committee has yet been put in place for the protest with the slogan ‘Before someone else dies on a trolley’ being adopted by organisers.