Kieran O’Donnell TD pictured at UHL.

Taoiseach's commitment to mid-west hospital

In the Dáil, Limerick City TD Kieran O’Donnell secured a commitment from Taoiseach Micheal Martin that funding and resources will be made available to UHL under the HSE’s Winter Preparedness Plan to assist it in coping with the Winter period from now until march 2022. During the order of business, Deputy O’Donnell raised the crisis situation at UHL with the Taoiseach, both in terms of the highest Trolley count nationwide and the exceptionally high number of Covid-19 patients presenting, resulting in high numbers of these patients in ICU. The Taoiseach acknowledged the serious pressures in UHL and committed to the Government supporting the hospital.

“In the Dail, I raised the very serious and on-going crisis in UHL with an Taoiseach Micheal Martin. During the debate, I highlighted to the Taoiseach that UHL has both a trolley and Covid19 crises in play, which is putting enormous pressures on an already over-burdened hospital during this winter period.

“With UHL consistently having the highest trolley count nationwide, coupled with the exceptionally high Covid19 in-patients, I strongly stated the case for UHL to be immediately supported under the HSE’s winter preparedness plan to cope with these serious demands. These supports should cover areas like the recruitment of extra medical and nursing staff by UHL.

“I drew attention to the fact that currently UHL has 58 persons on Trolleys, with 56 Covid19 in-patients, with 13 of these Covid-19 patients in ICU, making up 50% of available high dependency acute beds. Furthermore, the new 60 acute bed block is being used as a Covid19 isolation ward rather than its expected use to alleviate bed capacity pressures for the normal non-covid19 operations of UHL.

“Taoiseach Micheal Martin gave unequivocal support for UHL to be funded and resourced under the Government’s and HSE’s Winter preparedness plan to cope with the extreme pressures the hospital is experiencing.

“Furthermore, the Taoiseach acknowledged the additional pressure the high Covi-19 in-patient numbers were putting on UHL, particularly manifested in ICU pressures. He committed to the Government assisting UHL in every possible way to deal with the overcrowding crisis at the hospital to enable it to come through the difficult winter period.

“Whilst the 96 bed block at UHL is currently going out to tender, in the interim we must ensure that UHL can cope with the current and on-going pressures on their services. It is critical now that any proposal submitted by UHL under the Winter Preparedness plan is expedited by the HSE and I will continue to advocate here."