Clare Regional Health Forum Member Urges Minister For Health To Acknowledge Lack Of Preparedness At UHL For Winter Surge

Photo (c) Alan Place

A Clare Regional Health Forum Member is urging the Minister for Health to acknowledge the lack of preparedness at UHL for the winter surge in overcrowding.

It comes as the HSE’s ED Taskforce has agreed to ask private hospital to provide relief in easing public hospital overcrowding over the winter period.

Overcrowding at the region’s main hospital is showing no signs of abating with 108 recorded on trolleys at the facility this morning according to figures from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation.


The latest HSE figures reveal that of the 55,073 presentations at UHL’s ED so far this year, 13,607 were from Clare, which presents just under 25% of total presentations.

Clare Regional Health Forum Member and Kilkee Fianna Fáil Councillor Cillian Murphy believes in light of this county’s dependence on UHL’s emergency department, the Health Minister must give serious attention to how equipped UHL is to deal with the inevitable surge in overcrowding at the region’s main hospital over the winter months.

You can listen to the interview in full here.

With winter looming, the HSE’s ED Taskforce has agreed to ask private hospitals to share the burden of seasonal overcrowding over the coming months, with a tender for assistance from private hospitals from the 1st of November to the 29th of February next year.

It’s understood this help would include treating non-emergency cases in order to alleviate pressure on public hospitals.

However, an umbrella group known as the Private Hospitals Association has penned a letter to HSE Chief Executive Bernard Gloster putting this plan in some doubt.

Midwest Hospitals Campaign Group Member and Ennistymon resident Marie McMahon, whose husband passed away on a trolley at UHL in 2018, believes people in this region of the country are particularly disadvantaged when it comes to healthcare due to the persistent overcrowding at UHL.

You can listen to the full interview here: