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Limerick Hospital crisis shows folly of downgrading smaller hospitals - Ó Caoláin

28 March, 2013 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

Sinn Féin health spokesperson, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD, has said the crisis of gross overcrowding at the Mid-Western Regional Hospital in Limerick arises from the downgrading of hospitals at Nenagh and Ennis.

He said: “We have seen the overcrowding crisis in the Mid-Western Regional Hospital in Limerick this week lead to a call from the hospital for people not to attend the Emergency Department, as well as a complaint to the fire officer due to the overcrowding.

“The HSE's response has been incredible in claiming that services are available at Nenagh and Ennis hospitals. The emergency departments in these hospitals were closed under the last government and remain closed under the current one. This week's crisis at Limerick shows the folly of downgrading smaller hospitals in this state.

“As in other regions, the downgrading of smaller hospitals, including closure of emergency departments, has not been followed by major upgrading of facilities at the Mid-Western Regional Hospital. The same happened after the downgrading of Monaghan General Hospital and the Louth County Hospital in Dundalk. No extra beds were provided in either Drogheda or Cavan.

“The situation in Limerick this week represents the reality behind the spin from the HSE and from Health Minister James Reilly.”

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