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CITY TRIBUNE

Forty-four patients were waiting on trolleys in UHG’s Emergency Department on Wednesday

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Forty-four patients were waiting on trolleys in UHG's Emergency Department on Wednesday.

University Hospital Galway was one of the most overcrowded hospitals in the country on Wednesday with some 44 patients waiting on trolleys on in its Emergency Department on Wednesday morning, according to Trolley Watch figures from nursing union, the INMO.

These figures come as local TD Noel Grealish lashed the Government for failing to address what he called ‘a crisis in health services in Galway’ – describing UHG as ‘consistently one of the worst hospitals in the country’ for the numbers of patients on trolleys.

Speaking in the Dáil, Deputy Grealish (Ind) said the situation had deteriorated to such a state that people were now reluctant to engage the services of the region’s biggest hospital.

“It has got so bad that older people, in particular, are genuinely afraid to go to hospital, knowing the indignities that await them in what is supposed to be the West’s flagship facility.

“Over the past three weeks alone, almost 600 sick or injured, worried and vulnerable people have been left lying on trolleys overnight at UHG, and that does not include weekends,” said Deputy Grealish.

He said in the first six months of this year, almost 2,400 people spent more than 24 hours in the emergency department at the hospital, more than 850 of them over the age of 75 – a statistic which he described as ‘shameful’.

A possible resolution lay in moving some of the services currently offered in UHG to Merlin Park, he added.

“I have put forward solutions in the House in the past, to both the Taoiseach and his predecessor, Deputy Enda Kenny. One solution is to locate a minor injuries unit at Merlin Park hospital on the eastern side of the city.

“It could take up to 60% of the people currently attending the severely overcrowded emergency department at UHG and deal with them in a fraction of the time it takes now. Not only would that greatly benefit more seriously ill patients, who would be seen sooner, but it would make the department a joy to work in for those staff who are under such stress at present,” said Deputy Grealish.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Elective surgeries cancelled at UHG as overcrowding continues

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – Some non-urgent elective surgeries are being cancelled at UHG in a bid to tackle severe overcrowding at the city hospital.

It follows the issuing of a warning from the Saolta Hospital Group that the emergency department is extremely busy and there is ongoing pressure on bed availability.

General Manager at UHG, Chris Kane, says over 500 people presented at the hospital on Monday and Tuesday.

She says the overcrowding situation is very serious, particularly in relation to the ED, the Surgical Unit and the Acute Medical Assessment Unit.

Members of the public are urged to only attend the hospital in the case of emergency, and contact their GP or out-of-hours service if their health problem is not urgent.

Saolta is also reminding the public that the Injury Unit at Roscommon University Hospital is open from 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week, to treat adults and children over 5.

Speaking to Keith Finnegan on Galway Talks, Chris Kane said the current level of patients presenting is extremely high and “unusual” for this time of year.

She also noted there’s also been a rise in patients being treated for Covid-19, including in the ICU.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Mercury hit 30°C for Galway City’s hottest day in 45 years

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune –

Wednesday was the hottest day in the city over the past 45 years when with a high of 30.1 Celsius being recorded at the NUI Galway Weather Station.

The highest temperature ever recorded in the city dates back to June 30, 1976, when the late Frank Gaffney had a reading of 30.5° Celsius at his weather station in Newcastle.

Pharmacists and doctors have reported a surge in people seeking treatment for sunburn.

A Status Yellow ‘high temperature warning’ from Met Éireann – issued on Tuesday – remains in place for Galway and the rest of the country until 9am on Saturday morning.

It will be even hotter in the North Midlands, where a Status Orange temperature warning is in place.

One of the more uncomfortable aspects of our current heatwave has been the above average night-time temperatures and the high humidity levels – presenting sleeping difficulties for a lot of people.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Property Tax hike voted down in Galway City

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A proposal to boost Galway City Council coffers by half a million euro every year by increasing Local Property Tax (LPT) did not receive the support of city councillors.

Councillor Peter Keane (FF) failed to get a seconder at this week’s local authority meeting for his motion to increase the LPT payable on Galway City houses by 5%.

Cllr Keane said that the increase would net the Council €500,000 every year, which could be spent evenly on services across all three electoral wards.

It would be used to fund services and projects city councillors are always looking for, including a proposal by his colleague Cllr Imelda Byrne for the local authority to hire additional staff for city parks.

The cost to the taxpayer – or property owner – would be minimal, he insisted.

“It would mean that 90% of households would pay 37 cent extra per week,” he said.

Not one of the 17 other elected members, including four party colleagues, would second his motion and so it fell.

Another motion recommending no change in the current rate of LPT in 2022 was passed by a majority.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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