THE Minster for Health, Leo Varadkar, says the re-opening of 20 beds at St John’s Hospital will help alleviate the pressure on the emergency department at University Hospital Limerick (UHL).
The Minister made his comments in the Dail yesterday after Deputy Kieran O’Donnell raised concerns about the delays at the Dooradoyle hospital.
Welcoming confirmation that 20 beds at St John’s, which were closed due to a virus, have now been re-opened, Deputy O’Donnell said: “There is a capacity issue at the A&E in the Regional (UL hospital) and this measure will at least take some of the pressure off.”
Mr Varadkar said the situation at UHL has improved over the past week with six people on trolleys on Tuesday morning and ten yesterday morning. “For whatever reason, the situation is the best it has been in several weeks, which is encouraging,” he said.
Meanwhile, Deputy O’Donnell told the Dail that he has had a number of meetings with the new health minister, who was well aware of the situation in Limerick.
He said that he was concerned that they still had to go through two winters before the new A&E at Dooradoyle would be completed.
“I have queried this with the HSE and have been told it won’t open until 2016. The shell of the building has been completed but it has to be fitted out,” he explained.
He had urged for a speeding up of the process but was told that work had to be put out to tender.
The news follows extensive coverage in last weekend’s Limerick Leader, with 47 patients on trolleys last Monday week, September 29.
The re-opening of the unit in St John’s appears to have improved the situation with just a total of 10 people on trolleys in the UL hospital this Wednesday.
“Things have improved but I will be keeping a close eye on matters,” the TD said.