The Health Minister insists there’s ‘a lot more capacity’ to be delivered at the region’s main hospital.
Stephen Donnelly was speaking following a Seanad motion calling for further investment in health services in the Midwest region.
Senators of all parties contributed to the debate in the Seanad, which called on the Health Minister and the Government to maintain and enhance its investment into the UL Hospitals Group and its facilities.
It’s the latest in a line of calls for change in how health services in Clare, Limerick and Tipperary are operated, following a significant protest on overcrowding at University Hospital Limerick earlier this month.
87 consultants at UHL wrote an open letter in recent weeks suggesting they’re ‘demoralised’ at what they describe as the ‘relentless demands’ of trying to provide care at the facility.
However, the Health Minister insists Government will continue in the Midwest.
Stephen Donnelly’s been telling the Seanad that workplace practice changes are also required within the Group, but he believes management has responded well to concerns raised so far.
Clare’s Fine Gael Senator meanwhile says if capacity’s going to be supported, plans for two new 96 bed blocks in Dooradoyle now need to be ‘fast tracked’.
The UL Hospitals Group has previously stated that a second 96-bed block, as provided for in the UHL site masterplan, is currently being planned with HSE Capital & Estates.
It’s understood the Group intends to submit plans to the HSE before the end of March.
Ennistymon-based Fine Gael Senator Martin Conway, who’s his party’s Seanad spokesperson on health, says proposals for an elective hospital in the Midwest also need to be re-examined.
You can listen back to the Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly and Ennistymon-based Fine Gael Senator, Martin Conway speaking in the Seanad below.