UL Hospitals Group Warns Of ‘Significant Disruption’ As Medical Lab Scientists Strike Continues

Photo © Pat Flynn

The UL Hospitals Group is warning of ‘significant disruption’ to services in Ennis and Limerick as medical laboratory scientists continue strike action today.

Members of the Medical Laboratory Scientists Association are undertaking nationwide industrial action between 8am and 8pm today and tomorrow.

It’s led to the cancellation of inpatient, outpatient and elective procedures across the UL Hospital Group’s six sites. including University Hospital Limerick and Ennis General Hospital.


The Group says it will aim to reschedule appointments for impacted patients ‘at the earliest opportunity’, while essential services such as oncology, dialysis and the emergency department will remain operational.

Statement from the UL Hospitals Group

There will be further disruption to and delays in service across the six sites of UL Hospitals Group and hospitals across the country, due to the two days of nationwide industrial action planned by members of the Medical Laboratory Scientists Association (MLSA) this week.

The national action tomorrow (Tuesday) and Wednesday, 8am-8pm both days, is an escalation of the strike action of May 18th that led to the cancellation of numerous inpatient and day-case elective procedures and some outpatient appointments in the country’s hospitals.

Locally, while efforts continue at national level to try and avert the industrial action, UL Hospitals Group has continued engaging with the MLSA to ensure that arrangements are in place to safely provide a curtailed range of services on our sites this Tuesday and Wednesday.

We have been directly contacting all patients whose appointments will be cancelled due to the action. Outpatient appointments that do not require bloods to be taken will go ahead. Anyone with an appointment at our hospitals this Tuesday and Wednesday and who is not contacted, should attend as scheduled.

Essential services at University Hospital Limerick (UHL), including oncology and dialysis, will remain open. The hospital’s Emergency Department (ED) will also remain open, but we anticipate that patients with non-urgent care needs are likely to experience significant delays in service.

Details of service cancellations across the country, hospital by hospital, will be constantly updated on the HSE website at Hospital disruptions due to MLSA industrial action – HSE.ie

Impacted services at UHL include some elective surgeries, bronchoscopies, endoscopies, and Warfarin clinics.

Medical Assessment Units at Ennis, Nenagh and St John’s Hospitals will be running as reduced services, while Injury Units at those hospitals will be open as normal. Some elective surgeries will be cancelled, as will endoscopies, on all three sites.

The two-day industrial action has also led to the cancellation of some elective surgeries at Croom Orthopaedic Hospital.

At University Maternity Hospital Limerick (UMHL), C-sections and inducements, the emergency maternity unit and neonatal emergency department services will continue, as will labour ward services and most antenatal appointments.

While patients with less urgent conditions attending the Emergency Department at UHL can expect delays in service this Tuesday and Wednesday, we wish to reassure the public that the department will be open, and that the sickest and most urgent cases will be prioritised for treatment.

We regret the impact of these arrangements on patients attending our hospitals and we will work to reschedule appointments for all affected patients at the earliest possible opportunity.