LIMERICK Regional Hospital got a welcome boost this week with news that it is to get a new accident & emergency department.
It comes following scathing criticism of the main hospital in the Mid-West which has been officially ranked as one of the two worst performing hospitals in the country.
The Minister for Health, Mary Harney, has confirmed to Minister of State Peter Power that arising from her budget allocation for 2011, she has sanctioned the go-ahead for a new A&E department at Dooradoyle.
Deputy Peter Power made the announcement in Limerick this Wednesday. He said: "This morning I am delighted to say that Mary Harney has confirmed to me that she has now provided funding for a new accident & emergency department in the Regional Hospital. I have been actively campaigning for this project for over a year now."
The new facility will be located on the ground floor of the new Critical Care block. "Today's announcement is a hugely positive development for the Regional Hospital and for the Health Services in Limerick and the Mid-West generally," Deputy Power said.
"Since the decision was taken two years ago to reconfigure hospitals in the Mid-West area, there has been increasing pressure on the accident & emergency department in the Regional Hospital.
"I have experienced at first hand the over crowding which often takes place, particularly at weekends and on Mondays.
"Despite this, the doctors and nurses have performed their work to the highest level of professionalism and dedication."
The good news came on the same day as the latest HSE stat survey showed the Mid-Western Regional hospital along with Cork University Hospital were the two worst performing hospital out of a total
of 29 evaluated.
Over the past 18 months increased pressure has been stacked on the Regional with the centralising of acute surgical services from Ennis and Nenagh to the Limerick Hospital.