University Hospital of Limerick funding unacceptable - Senator Paul Gavan
Speaking in the Seanad this morning, Senator Paul Gavan called on the Minister of Health to address the continued underfunding and understaffing of the University Hospital of Limerick.
Senator Gavan said:
“I am calling on Simon Harris, Minister of Health, to come out and explain to the people of Limerick how he intends to deal with the chronic underfunding of the University Hospital of Limerick.
“This morning, we witnessed a tragic incident in which 15 children were injured, seven of which have been taken to UHL for treatment.
“UHL have now released a statement requesting that the public not attend the hospital’s emergency department unless absolutely necessary.
“Just last month, UHL had the worst trolley record in the state, with over 1000 patients lying on trolleys in corridors waiting for a bed.
“The blame for this crisis in accommodation lies at the door of Fine Gael and those who have assisted them in government. Their record over the last seven years has been a disgrace, and our health sector is a reflection of their failure. Each year the situation gets worse.
“Staff at the hospital across all grades are at their wits end.
"This morning, there was actually a strike intended to take place, only for it to be called off last evening when the hospitals management eventually agreed to attend the Workplace Relations Commission.
“We have workers run off their feet, in understaffed emergency departments, working with very limited resources.
"On top of that, the complete lack of respect by management to delay WRC talks until now means that we will almost certainly face further strike action from members of the nurses unions and IMO.
“I want to know how the Government can reconcile this situation I have just outlined with the €350m in tax cuts it authorised in the last budget.
“I also want to know what the Minister is going to do about the €881m deficit the HSE is facing in their 2018 budget. We need answers from the Minister as a matter of urgency.
“If this issue is not dealt with the people of Limerick will continue to suffer.”