NONE of the of the six hospitals in the University of Limerick Hospitals Group (ULHG) will receive any of the 209 acute beds scheduled to be opened this year.
Responding to a Parliamentary Question from Clare Independent TD Michael McNamara, the Health Service Executive (HSE) Acute Operations department confirmed that no new acute hospital beds will be opened in the Mid-West Region in 2023
“One year on from the news that no new acute beds would be opened in the UL Hospitals Group during 2022, we learn that the Mid West is once again omitted from the list of regions to benefit from such investment in 2023,” stated Deputy McNamara.
“This follows the revelation that just seven full-time positions were created at UHL, the most overcrowded hospital in the State, over the past seven years.
“Only 61 full-time positions were filled in the entire UL Hospitals Group last year, the smallest increase in any region of the State. It’s now clear that the chronic underinvestment in acute services in the Mid-West will continue through 2023.
“The fact that the UL Hospitals Group is the only group in the country not to benefit from new acute beds is an affront to the people of Clare, Limerick, and North Tipperary,” Deputy McNamara declared.
Deputy McNamara said that while additional bed capacity on its own would not resolve the overcrowding problems at UHL, the delivery of new acute beds should certainly be part of the solution.
“It is necessary that the Taoiseach visits our Model 2 Hospitals in Ennis, Nenagh and St John’s to get a better understanding of their underutilisation and their capacity to reduce overcrowding at UHL.
“The people of the Mid-West cannot afford another year of negligible investment in healthcare services in this region, which will result in a repeat of dangerous levels of overcrowding next winter.
“Increasing bed capacity and expanding services at our Model 2 hospitals must be part of the solution. Failure to do so will lead to a continuation of crippling overcrowding at Dooradoyle and even longer waiting lists” he concluded.