Claims Rural Clare Residents Being Discriminated Against With Healthcare Amid UHL Concerns

Photo (c) Clare FM

A member of the Midwest Hospitals Campaign believes people in rural Clare are being discriminated against in their access to health services.

It’s after new figures revealed more than 1 in 7 patients who have been on trolleys nationwide so far this year were in University Hospital Limerick.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation says more than 15,000 patients have been left on trolleys at the Dooradoyle facility so far this year.



That’s more than 40 percent higher than the next busiest facility, which is Cork University Hospital.

Nurses say they expect the traditional winter surge to last until the end of March, and want private hospitals to provide for elective activity until then.

The UL Hospitals Group says it’s targeting more than 4,500 consultations to be achieved for elective care in private facilities by the end of the year under the National Treatment Purchase Fund.

The new data has prompted one Clare campaigner to suggest people in the North and West of this county are being unfairly treated amid delays in the Midwest.

Ennistymon-based Marie McMahon, who’s a member of the Midwest Hospitals Campaign, believes suggestions matters are improving locally aren’t adding up.

The UL Hospitals Group says it’s continuing to experience ‘extremely high’ volumes of attendances at its emergency department, and is prioritising care for its sickest patients.

People are being asked to consider local injury units and out-of-hours GP services as alternatives, with the Group already launching its Escalation Plan for the winter period.

Stephen McMahon from the Irish Patients Association says facilities that are available in the region to ease the burden on UHL should be used to their maximum capability.

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Clare’s Fine Gael Senator says providing accommodation to hospital staff should be considered as a medium to long-term solution to the recruitment crisis plaguing the sector.

Ennistymon Senator Martin Conway, who’s his party’s Seanad spokesperson on health is backing the suggestion that’s been put forward by the INMO.

64 people are on trolleys at University Hospital Limerick today according to the INMO, which is the second highest figure in the country.