Limerick hospital overcrowding campaign takes to the streets 

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Section of the crowd at a Mid West Hospitals Campaign protest in February 2020.

THE Mid West Hospital Campaign is taking to the streets tomorrow (Saturday) for a day of action over persistent chronic overcrowding at University Hospital Limerick (UHL).

The group is also asking people to sign their petition calling on the government to tackle the problems at UHL and to restore services at Ennis, St John’s and Nenagh hospitals to take pressure off the acute hospital in Dooradoyle.

The Day of Action is taking place at the end of a week which started with 98 patients waiting on trolleys for an inpatient bed on Monday, and just weeks after the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) counted 126 patients on trolleys.

Campaign members will be outside the former Debenhams store on O’Connell Street in Limerick from 1pm with a petition and literature on the problems facing patients and their families.

“We want to get the momentum of the campaign going again post-Covid, because the situation hasn’t improved,” Mary Cahillane, spokesperson for the Campaign told the Limerick Post.

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“The new bed block at the hospital has had no impact on the numbers waiting for beds. What we have called for from the start is to have the services at Ennis, St John’s and Nenagh reopened. At the moment, they are only available for half the day. Having these hospitals open 24 hours would take the pressure off UHL, even as a temporary measure,” she said.

Campaign members are asking the public to lobby their elected representatives to put pressure on Health Minister Stephen Donnelly, to step up action to tackle the trolley crisis.

A motion on the issues affecting patients at UHL is due to be raised before the Health Forum West later this month.

On Saturday May 21, the Ennis arm of the campaign will be having their own day of action and another event is planned for Nenagh at a later date.

Minister Donnelly recently confirmed a specialist group is to be established to examine the level of overcrowding at UHL.

However, the Mid West Hospital Campaign have expressed concern at the Minister’s response to questions about the team submitted on their behalf, accusing him of issuing the same “stock reply” to various queries.

The Group insist that the government must now acknowledge that the reconfiguration of health services in the Mid West has failed.