Clare Senator Accuses Health Minister Of Delay Tactics On MidWest ED Review

A Clare government Senator has accused the Health Minister of using delay tactics to postpone HIQA’s review to determine the need for a second emergency department in the region.

It’s after the MidWest Hospital Campaign’s request to reopen A&Es at Ennis, Nenagh and St.John’s were heard at the Oireachtas Petitions Committee.

113 admitted patients were left waiting for beds at University Hospital Limerick this morning, according to the latest figures from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation.



This means the Dooradoyle facility is more overcrowded than the next six busiest hospitals in the country combined today.

The Oireachtas Petitions Committee has this week heard the case put forward by the MidWest Hospital Campaign for the A&Es at Ennis, Nenagh and St.Johns to be re-opened.

Appearing before the committee, the Health Minister has said though, that nursing staff at Ennis General are not in favour of opening the Local Injury Unit on a 24/7 basis.

HSE figures have revealed that 239 patients died in the Emergency Department at UHL since 2019 and Minister Stephen Donnelly says every one of those should have been at home or in palliative care for their final hours.

Responding to a question from Kilrush Independent Deputy Violet-Anne Wynne, the Minister says, however, that expanding the LIU in Ennis would be an inefficient drain on emergency care resources.

A Clare Oireachtas Health Committee member, meanwhile, has accused the Minister of using “delay tactics” by not yet publishing the terms of reference for HIQA’s pending review into the need for a second ED in the MidWest.

Minister Donnelly reaffirmed that the terms would not be published until Former Chief Justice Frank Clarke’s Independent investigation into the death of Aoife Johnston is completed in the coming weeks.

Ennistymon Fine Gael Senator Martin Conway says HIQA’s review of emergency capacity needs to get underway now, and that this government must make the decision on a new ED for the region.

You can listen to the full interview here: