University Hospital Limerick is continuing to use diagnostic equipment years after it should have been replaced, because of a lack of funding.
X-ray rooms and CT scanners are among the out-of-date equipment for which funding has been sought, but not granted.
UL Hospitals Group CEO Colette Cowan responded to Clare County Council after local representatives expressed concern about what they called a “lack of basic diagnostic equipment” and the resultant delays in care for patients.
Her letter represents a ‘state of play’ with regards to equipment, and this includes a range of issues.
Two of the three CT scanners at Dooradoyle were due for replacement in 2016 and 2017 respectively, but that this hasn’t happened due to a lack of funding.
One X-ray room, installed in 1998, was decommissioned in 2018 and has not been replaced. Ms. Cowan says the hospital now only has one fully functioning X-ray room for plain X-rays.
In the case of C-Arm units, which are used in operating theatres, one unit was due to be replaced in 2012 and two more were due to be replaced in 2017. They’re all still in use.
One of the hospital’s MRI scanners is described as old, but working reliably, and that was paid for by philanthropic donations. A second MRI was installed last month.
In most cases, the UL Hospitals Group has sought funding to replace the outdated equipment.
Last year, €163,000 was allocated to the hospital through the near-€40 million National Equipment Replacement Programme.
The funding was used to purchase new ultrasound equipment, while funding has also been allocated for the replacement of the General X-ray room in Ennis.