PATIENTS at the Mid-Western Regional Hospital continue to have their bread toasted - and on both sides - the HSE has reassured the public.
The crumb of comfort comes after Vincent Browne claimed on his TV show a patient had been told they couldn’t have toast - and that this was because the HSE didn’t have the bread to replace a faulty toaster. The County Limerick broadcaster was speaking about a patient he knew well from Broadford.
But the HSE has told the Limerick Chronicle that health cuts had not extended this far.
“Times are not so hard that we cannot afford to replace a broken toaster. Ditto if an electric kettle or a pot in the kitchen gives up the ghost,” a HSE spokesman said.
With tongue-in-cheek, he added: “We had thought of asking patients to make their own toast but then the idea of lighting a fire in the middle of a ward did not find favour with the fire service”.
Asked whether the HSE could continue to afford to toast both sides, he said: “One side, two sides, it’s all the one. We draw the line, however, at any suggestion that patients can have their cake and eat it too”.
Nurses last year complained that cost-cutting at the hospital had lead to a directive that they bring their own teabags to work.