Taoiseach says immediate work needed on Limerick hospital

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Taoiseach Micheal Martin

TAOISEACH Micheál Martin believes that work is needed in University Hospital Limerick, and it needs to continue.

This was his response in the Dáil last week to claims from Limerick Fianna Fáil TD Willie O’Dea that the Mid-West has been discriminated against in terms of medical facilities and the bed capacity available at University Hospital Limerick.

Deputy O’Dea said that the facilities at UHL were “insufficient” to cater to the needs of the population.

“The Taoiseach will be aware of the recent Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) report on UHL, which makes for grim reading. The bad news is that the situation has deteriorated further since the report was published. The Taoiseach did indicate to me here, on February 1, that he was in principle very much in favour of the idea of an elective-only hospital in the region to alleviate the situation.

“Has the Government taken any decision on that yet? If not, when will a decision be taken?” Deputy O’Dea asked.

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In response, the Taoiseach said that immediate work is needed in University Hospital Limerick, and it needs to continue.

“I know that certain governance measures are being taken and that a team from the HSE has visited the hospital. A formal decision has not yet come to the Cabinet, but we are positively orientated towards it. The new Government, when coming into office, inherited proposals in respect of Cork and Galway, which had not really been advanced to any great degree.

“They are now being advanced. The elective route is an essential one, particularly where acute hospitals like UHL are under unacceptable pressures and cannot cope,” Mr Martin added.