Review into Limerick Hospital overcrowding ‘sounds like long-fingering’, say Social Democrats

Jess Casey

Reporter:

Jess Casey

Email:

jess.casey@limerickleader.ie

Review into Limerick Hospital overcrowding ‘sounds like long-fingering’, say Social Democrats

Deputies Roisin Shortall and Catherine Murphy with local election candidates Sarah Jane Hennelly and Kieran Walsh

THE co-leader of the Social Democrats, who chaired the committee that produced the Sláintecare report for health reform, has described the announcement of a review into Limerick’s hospital overcrowding as “long fingering the issues”.

Co-leaders of the Social Democrats Roisín Shortall and Catherine Murphy visited University Hospital Limerick with local election candidates Sarah Jane Hennelly, Limerick City East, and Kieran Walsh, Limerick City North, on a recent trip to Limerick. 

When asked about the “enhanced expert review”, announced by Health Minister Simon Harris, Deputy Shortall said: “That to me sounds very much like long fingering the issues here. 

“For several years now, UHL has been complaining about the lack of capacity, both in terms of beds and in terms of staff capacity. They have been making this complaint consistently and it seems the Government has not been listening.”

Deputy Shortall said, with a population that is both growing and aging there aren’t sufficient beds at UHL.

“There aren't enough acute hospital beds, ICU beds or step down beds. 

“The Health Minister is responding very late in the day, by promising a review. All of this data is available, it’s collected periodically by the HSE so they have known for a long time that there are serious capacity problems here and the Government hasn’t responded to them.” 

Deputy Murphy said: “You can have an advanced review and we can probably estimate that one of the findings of that will be that there is a need for more beds. We can predict that at this stage from the information that is already available.” 

“It was very important for the team and I to bring Roisín and Catherine to UHL,” Sarah Jane Hennelly said. 

“Roisín has an unparalleled track-record of leading on health service reform and we are all very proud of that. I felt her political leadership and expertise in health would add weight and insight to the ongoing campaign for UHL reform.”

“Promises of investigations three weeks out from a local election – we should be very sceptical of that.

“We might think the issues in UHL are far too serious for such political insincerity, but the broken promises we have seen in recent times tell us otherwise,” she added.