The Taoiseach has ruled out re-opening an Accident and Emergency Unit at Ennis General hospital, saying it’s not the solution to the overcrowding crisis in Limerick.
In an exclusive interview on Clare FM’s Morning Focus, Leo Varadkar has spoken on a number of issues including hospital overcrowding and Brexit.
The Taoiseach says there’ll be more money, more staff and more beds for University Hospital Limerick, but he insists that’s not the only solution to the overcrowding crisis.
It follows record trolley numbers this week, with 81 patients on trolleys there on Wednesday. Today, INMO figures show that number has fallen to 60.
Leo Varadkar says the spiralling trolley numbers at Dooradoyle are particularly concerning given that nationally, figures are at a five-year low.
Speaking as part of his visit to Ennis today, the Taoiseach shot down the prospect of re-opening the old A&E in Ennis and says that instead, hospital managment should be looking to copy the successes of other facilities.
In the wide ranging interview on Clare FM’s Morning Focus, the Taoiseach also spoke about the latest regarding Brexit.
This morning, Theresa May sought another extension to the process up to June 30th, but the European Council President is suggesting an extension of up to a year.
Leo Varadkar says the Prime Minister’s request for an extension doesn’t come as a surprise, and that it is better than crashing out without a deal.
However, he is keen that the process is resolved soon.
The Taoiseach is also reassuring farmers, saying that in a no-deal scenario their incomes will be protected.
There are no specifics on those plans as of yet, or on how exactly businesses will be impacted either.
Here, there have also been concerns about the impact of Brexit on Shannon Airport, which uses Heathrow as its primary Hub Airport connection.
He’s played down the impact of Brexit on this, and also stated that the State wouldn’t look to use any special supports to help Shannon strike a deal with another major European Airport.
In the coming moments, as part of his trip to the Midwest, the Taoiseach will formally announce the decision by Edwards Lifesciences to open a new pupose-built facility at Castletroy.
600 jobs will be created at the site, as part of a total €160 million investment.
The company already employs fifty people at its facility in Shannon.