Independent Limerick mayoral candidate ‘frustrated’ at UHL crisis

Independent mayoral candidate Frankie Daly.

INDEPENDENT mayoral candidate Frankie Daly says he is frustrated that daily public outcries about University Hospital Limerick (UHL) are taking so long to sink in.

Cllr Daly deemed the delay in sorting out overcrowding at UHL’s emergency department as “beyond disappointing”.

“We have had numerous public protests about this and we’re still no better off,” Cllr Daly opined.

“Almost every day UHL is in the papers for the dangerous situation in the emergency department and looking at the trolley count on Monday (May 13), it’s no surprise that once again we have the worst overcrowding situation in the country with ‘only’ 53 people on trolleys.”

The HSE’s TrolleyGAR report showed 53 patients waiting on trolleys throughout UHL 8am on Monday, while the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation’s count reflected 85.

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The City North representative considers it “inevitable” that the situation at the hospital would dominate the agenda for whomever is elected mayor in June.

“I’ve heard media commentators and indeed other candidates say that there is very little that the new directly-elected mayor can do for the situation in UHL and I couldn’t disagree more,” he said.

“The role comes with a budget and executive powers, but not only that, as the first role of its kind in Ireland, it will come with a very high profile. I would be using that high profile and every sinew of power that comes with it to make sure that our outcries are finally heard.”

A new 96-bed hospital unit is currently under construction at UHL but it could be late 2025 or early 2026 before it is operational, Cllr Daly claimed, saying “this is not good enough”.

“Last year, the UL Hospitals Group said that the building would be completed by the end of 2024 but would need to be staffed and fitted out so it could be mid 2025 before it opens.

“With HSE timelines, you can add at least six months to that,” he said.

“It’s simply not good enough and it’s time to ramp up our public outcries so the government can start expediting new beds and new builds, like they have shown that they can do in the past,” he concluded.