There’s been a mixed reaction in Clare to news of an independent review of the region’s main hospital.
The Health Minister made the announcement yesterday, which forms part of an overall review of hospital groups nationwide, on the back of serious overcrowding in recent weeks.
But concern is being expressed that it’s all been done before, as Clare FM’s James Mulhall reports:
An independent, analytic review of hospital groups nationwide will kick off with the UL Hospitals Group; which controls UHL and Ennis General.
This will have a particular focus on the A&E at the Dooradoyle facility, which has seen record levels of patients on trolleys in recent weeks.
But a junior doctor working at University Hospital Limerick is feeling disillusioned about the announcement.
Dr Des Shearer, who’s spoken out about intolerable working conditions there, says the Governent already has already carried out a report that would allow them to push forward with changes.
Clare’s Fianna Fáil TD Timmy Dooley, and a number of other opposition TDs, had previously called for such a review to take place.
He has now accused Minister Simon Harris of “being dragged kicking and screaming” to the point where a review has been forced.
He’s not pleased with the pace of addressing the issues.
Meanwhile, Clare’s Independent TD is leading the proposed introduction of an acute healthcare model, which in other countries has reduced ED admissions by 8%.
It sees increased focus on primary care to take services out of the emergency department and into the GP surgeries and hospitals like Ennis General.
Despite the planned review, Dr Michael Harty feels this model can still proceed as planned to help tackle the problem for good.