Deputy McGrath Raises UHL Overcrowding In The Dail

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Tipperary TD Mattie McGrath raised the issue of overcrowding at University Hospital Limerick(UHL) in the Dáil.

The TD wants the hospital to get the resources it was intended to have when the HSE implemented a reconfiguration of the services provided at four hospitals in the Mid West Region in 2009.

At that time a bed capacity of 630 beds was to be delivered for a population of 350,000.

The hospital does not have 630 beds at present and the catchment area population has increased to over 400,000.

Deputy McGrath  says the  service in UHL as regards the Emergency Department is unacceptable and wants consideration to be given to resuming Emergency services at the smaller hospitals in Ennis, Nenagh and St John’s.

The TD says appeals to find alternative healthcare are laughable given how busy GPs are and cited a constituent having to wait 2 weeks for an appointment.

The INMO reported 150 patients on trolleys at UHL yesterday and 120 today.

Finance Minister Michael McGrath responding on behalf of the Government says that the situation is not acceptable to the Minister for Health or the Government.

The Dáil heard that Minister Donnelly engaged with the head of the HSE Bernard Gloster and that additional measures are to be put in place to address the overcrowding.

Minister McGrath added that staff numbers at the hospital have increased by 1,000 over the last five years and that the trolley numbers at UHL in January 2023 were lower than in January 2022.

INMO data shows that January 2022 figure was 1,300, January 2023 was 1,180 while January 2024 trolley figures are 2073 in UHL.