HOSPITAL patients in Limerick will have access to “world class medical staff” following the biggest re-organisation of Irish hospitals in the history of the State.
Limerick deputy Dan Neville was commenting following the Cabinet approval of the establishment of hospital groups and the small hospital framework, with the treatment of serious cases being removed from smaller hospitals.
The Mid-West Hospital Group will be made up of the following hospitals: Ennis, Nenagh, MWRH Maternity, MWRH Limerick, Nenagh General Hospital, St. John’s and Mid West Regional Orthopaedic Hospital, Croom.
“This will be the biggest re organisation of Irish hospitals in the history of the State,” said Mr Neville.
“Hospitals will now work together as part of a group. The grouping of hospitals will enable each hospital to specialise in certain procedures which would improve the efficiency of the hospital and result in the reduction of waiting lists and trolley numbers for patients.”
In future, staff will be recruited to the Mid West Hospital Group rather than to an individual hospital.
Deputy Neville said this re-organisation should reduce the hours that junior doctors work and potentially increase patient safety. “Patients will not be restricted in their choice of hospital group. Doctors remain free to refer patients to the hospital of their choice outside of their local area,” he advised.
Furthermore, he said this framework secures the future of St. John’s Hospital in Limerick, with the Minister for Health sanctioning 20 additional beds to facilitate to larger number of day surgeries, diagnostics, rehabilitation and chronic disease management.
Minister James Reilly described his proposals as “the most fundamental reform of the Irish acute hospital system in decades”.