An application has been made by the University of Limerick Hospitals Group (ULHG) for €5.2 million in funding to vastly expand the services of the Medical Assessment Units in St John’s, Ennis, and Nenagh hospitals.
The Mid West Hospital Campaign has now been informed of the move – confirmed at this month’s Regional Health Forum West meeting – following the group’s talks with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar when he visited University Hospital Limerick (UHL) last month.
ULHG has asked the HSE National Acute Division for the funding, which will be used to increase staffing at the three units and allow them to open seven days a week.
Having increased availability in the units would mean increased availability for GPs, ShannonDoc, and National Ambulance Service (NAS) paramedics to have patients assessed without having to go through the UHL emergency department.
The extra availability would also facilitate the recently introduced ambulance-to-Medical Assessment Unit strategy at Nenagh hospital. The cash injection would include permanent funding for Ennis Medical Assessment Unit to secure the extended hours and weekend service into the future.
Earlier in January, 11,000 people took to the streets of Limerick to demand the return of emergency department services at the three hospitals and an end to admitted patients waiting on trolleys for an in-hospital bed.