Cllr Seamus Morris.
Cllr Seamus Morris.
A Local representative is encouraging people in North Tipperary to sue the HSE over overcrowding at Unviserity Hospital Limerick.
Cllr Séamus Morris (SF) says he will help provide a solicitor for anyone who wants to take action over the prolonged problem of beds in corridors in Limerick's Emergency Department.
Speaking at a recent district meeting of Tipperary Co Council, Cllr Morris said Limerick has the worst ED in the country. There are daily reports of patients on trolleys, as many as 66 on November 8th last.
Cllr Morris said the Fire Service in Limerick can allow for 16 patients on trolleys in accordance with fire safety standards. But this figure is constantly being broken at the hospital, he said, calling on Limerick's fire chief to “step up to the mark”.
People have been “promised everything” at Limerick hospital since the removal of 24-hour A&E from Nenagh, Cllr Morris said. This included a new unit with a special provision of three to five beds for North Tipp patients. The Hanly Report recommended a unit of 96 beds at the Limerick hospital.
Cllr Morris told of how a woman recently attended Nenagh hospital and was referred to UHL. She waited there on a trolley for 10 hours before being sent back to Nenagh hospital. A protest over the situation at Limerick hospital is planned for February, Cllr Morris added.
Cllr John Carroll (FF) said he has raised the fire safety issue at the HSE West Regional Health Forum. He said people were “lied to” at the time of the Hanly Report and the public needs to be told why this happened.
People are being “coralled” and “treated like cattle” at the Limerick ED, Cllr Carroll complained, yet people are accepting this. Action needs to be taken, he said.
Cllr Mattie Ryan (FF) was also critical of the situation but wondered what protesting would achieve. “There's so much talk about the health service and nothing changes,” he said.
Cllr Ger Darcy (FG) pointed out that the long-awaited new emergency unit at Limerick hospital is due to open in May or June. He hoped that this would help the situation but said he still believes that the smaller hospitals like Nenagh can help also.
Cllr Hughie McGrath (Ind) lamented how the warnings of the majority of commentators were not heeded when the Hanly Report was discussed in 2004. They warned that extra provision had to made in Limerick before services were withdrawn from Nenagh.
“Don't put the cart before the horse,” was what everyone said at the time, Cllr McGrath recalled. “It happened.”