MINISTER for Health Dr James Reilly has appealed to the public to “keep the faith” with the emergency department at the Mid-Western Regional Hospital as the number of people waiting on trolleys to be admitted climbed to 26 this Tuesday.
It was the second consecutive day on which the A&E had the most patients on trolleys in the country.
TDs from Limerick, Clare and Tipperary have been circulated with a letter written to the Irish Times from Miltown Malbay woman Anne Rynne on her recent experience of the emergency department. Having presented with her son, who has MS, at 10.45pm on a Monday night, they waited almost four hours to be seen.
“To see at 2am, a very elderly man struggling with his zimmer frame as he looked for somewhere to stand – there were no chairs – as his bewildered wife followed him around, this sight will stay with me. Remember this was Monday night and no sign of anyone who was drunk, drugged or disorderly. I only saw sick people,” said Ms Rynne, a sister of folk singer Christy Moore. She called for the Army medical corps to be drafted in.
Speaking in Limerick, Minister Reilly said the new management team for acute hospitals in the Mid-West was almost complete. A chief financial and chief operating officer were being recruited to assist CEO Ann Doherty. And interviews had also taken place to appoint a senior medic as clinical director of the hospitals group. This appointment would be key to new work practices for doctors and managing patients and beds more effectively.
“That is critically important because the new LRC arrangement allows the clinical director to instruct doctors, senior clinicians, as to when they can go on holiday, when they are going to be on duty etc. Heretofore it was like ‘Well, I’m due my holidays and I’m going’. That is not in the interest of patients. So you are going to see a huge improvement over the next 12 months. I would ask people to keep the faith with the hospital because I think there are great people working there and a great new management there,” said Minister Reilly.