The UL Hospitals Group records a 5% increase in the number of emergency department attendances in 2017 Picture: Michael Cowhey
UNIVERSITY Hospital Limerick saw a 5% increase in emergency department attendances, with more than 67,000 patients treated at the facility in 2017.
According to the UL Hospitals Group CEO, Prof Colette Cowan, 67,800 patients attended the emergency department last year — a 3,100 increase on 2016 figures.
A spokesperson for the UL Hospitals Group said that there was an increase in December attendances in comparison to December 2016, adding that the increase was “predominantly” in people aged over 75.
This comes after the INMO released monthly overcrowding figures at UHL, showing that there were 1,003 patients treated on ED trolleys and additional trolleys or beds in the wards last month.
It was the highest rate of overcrowding in the country.
A spokesperson for UL Hospitals said that it “apologises for any distress or inconvenience caused to patients or their loved ones who have experienced long wait times in the ED at UHL, and we would like to reassure patients and their families that we are working to alleviate the situation. We also acknowledge the work of our staff and thank them for their continued dedication and commitment to patient care.”
TD Maurice Quinlivan said that the overcrowding figure is “a record that the Government should be ashamed of”. He has called on Minister for Health Simon Harris to visit UHL “as a matter of urgency”.
“UHL has been suffering from severe overcrowding for years now – it is not just the flu outbreak that is causing this situation – it has become permanent feature in Limerick. The people in Limerick deserve better. UHL needs extra money and extra beds as a matter of urgency to accommodate the patients. It’s that simple.”