DEPUTY Willie O’Dea has called on Minister for Health James Reilly to guarantee minimum levels of patient safety and care at University Hospital Limerick over the coming months as the minister reviews the HSE service plan for 2014.
Much devil is expected in the detail of the plan, which is to provide for €666 million in cutbacks.
Deputy O’Dea has accordingly demanded that Dr Reilly “make an early statement” on what medical card holders and patients of University Hospital Limerick in particular can expect this winter.
“So far, and despite the fact that the service plan has already been delayed by three weeks, we have had no indication from the minister or anyone else in government what basic levels of service are going to be protected and what compromises they are not prepared to make,” Deputy O’Dea declared.
“According to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, University Hospital Limerick had the worst overcrowding of any hospital in the country last winter and any cuts to funding for patient services at the hospital will only exacerbate the problem this winter.”
“In its response to this service plan, the government needs to move quickly to confirm basic levels of care and safety at all hospitals including University Hospital Limerick and to include a row-back of its wretched policy on removing discretionary medical cards from the very sickest people in the country,” Deputy O’Dea added.