Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us

News

Health service lurching from crisis to crisis

Dara Bradley

Published

on

Galway’s public health service continues to lurch from crisis to crisis with a surge in people waiting on trolleys the latest scandal to hit local hospitals.

New nurses figures reveal that there has been a 59% surge in the numbers of patients forced to languish on trolleys at University Hospital Galway (UHG).

The Trolley Watch figures for June come in the same month it was revealed that over 1,000 cancer patients had their outpatient appointments postponed since January at UHG because of staff shortages which led to reductions in oncology clinics.

The trolley figures also come as further 850 rheumatology outpatient appointments were postponed for several months due to staff shortages, which has led to summer clinic closures.

The INMO figures show there were a total of 670 patients on trolleys in the Emergency Department of UHG last month, the highest number for June since the union began compiling the figures in 2006.

It represents a 59% increase on the 422 who were on trolleys in ED and wards in June 2014.

In May of this year there were some 524 patients on trolleys, up by a quarter compared with the same month in 2014.

There were 67 patients on trolleys in Portiuncula in June, an increase of 12% compared with the same month in 2014.

May was even busier in the Ballinasloe ED – there were 101 patients on trolleys in May, compared with 23 in 2014, representing a 340% rise.

Fianna Fáil TD for Galway East Colm Keaveney said the figures are alarming. He said the situation has deteriorated at UHG over three years and is now “almost beyond repair”.

Deputy Keaveney added: “Every month hundreds of people are being treated in crowded emergency rooms and packed wards as the Health Minister sits back without intervening. This is causing much stress and anxiety not only for the patients themselves, who are being deprived of dignity in these exposed areas, but also for the frontline staff charged with their care.

“Over the past three years, the number of people on trolleys in UHG has jumped from 181 in 2013, to 422 in 2014 and stood at 670 last month. This is completely unacceptable.  Services in Galway have not been sufficiently expanded to deal with the increased demand. Units outside of UHG have been shut and have not been replaced, leading to a greater demand on the existing services.

“The status quo cannot be allowed to continue. Patients are being compromised and urgent action is needed. The entire health system is creaking under the strain and Emergency Departments are bearing the brunt of the burden. Additional funding and resources across the health service must be allocated to ease the pressure. Minister Varadkar needs to stop commentating and take immediate action to resolve this crisis.”

Liam Doran, INMO general secretary, said the overcrowding situation is so bad in the country’s Emergency Departments that his members are, “embarrassed to have to face patients and their families who have to suffer this indignity in our health care system”.

Mr Doran said: “Every day is the same inside Emergency Departments where elderly people on trolleys are lined up, head to toe, along small narrow corridors with insufficient nurses to care for them.”

The INMO called for more nurses to be employed and weekend discharges.  The figures were released in the same week Minister Varadkar visits Galway.

The Minister will be in UHG on Friday, and Government backbencher, Labour Party TD, Derek Nolan, says a new, bigger Emergency Department is vital to solving the problem.

Deputy Nolan said: “The Minister has stated to me in the Dáil that the current building is not fit for purpose and a new building has to be the medium to long term solution. I am looking forward to his visit so that he can finally see the reality of the situation.

“Getting a new ED is a priority for me and, more importantly, a priority for the people of Galway. A good standard of healthcare is the fundamental basis of any society and investing in infrastructure is a key component of that.”

CITY TRIBUNE

Galway City publican in heroic River Corrib rescue

Francis Farragher

Published

on

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A city publican who last week helped save the life of a woman who had entered the waters of the Corrib off Wolfe Tone Bridge has made an appeal for young people to ‘look out for each other’.

Fergus McGinn, proprietor of McGinn’s Hop House in Woodquay, had been walking close to Jury’s Inn when he saw the young woman enter the river.

He then rushed to the riverbank on the Long Walk side of the bridge, jumped into the water, spoke to the woman and stayed with her until the emergency services arrived.

The incident occurred at about 3.45pm on Friday last, and a short time later the emergency services were on the scene to safely rescue the woman.

“She was lucky in that the river level was very low and she didn’t injure herself on the rocks and stones just under the water.”

He also appealed to the public to support in whatever they could the work being done by groups like the Claddagh Watch volunteers.
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.

Continue Reading

CITY TRIBUNE

Pubs face court – for serving booze on their doorsteps!

Dara Bradley

Published

on

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Gardaí have warned city publicans that alcohol cannot be served outside their own premises – even in newly-created on-street spaces designated by Galway City Council as suitable for outdoor dining.

Councillor Mike Crowe (FF) said three Gardaí visited a number of city centre pubs on Thursday afternoon informing them that drinking outdoors was not allowed under licensing laws.

“They warned publicans and restaurants that the area outside their premises is not covered by the licence, and therefore under national legislation, they are breaking the law, because they are not entitled to sell alcohol in non-licensed areas.

“The operators were told that this was an official warning, and they will be back again in a few days and if it persisted, they [Gardaí] would have no option but to issue a charge and forward files to the Director of Public Prosecution. You could not make this up.

“All of the big operators were visited, and received an official warning, and they will be charged if they persist. According to the guards, they’re getting instructions from [Garda headquarters in] Phoenix Park,” he said.

The matter will be raised at a meeting of the Galway City Joint Policing Committee on Monday.
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.

Continue Reading

CITY TRIBUNE

Call for 50% affordable homes in new Galway City Council estates

Stephen Corrigan

Published

on

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The next Galway City Development Plan should include a greater provision for affordable housing than that recommended by Government, a meeting of the City Council has heard.

Cllr Declan McDonnell (Ind) told the meeting that while it was the Government’s intention to introduce a stipulation that new estates should have 10% affordable housing, Galway should go further – building anything up to 50% affordable in developments that are led by the local authority.

The Affordable Housing Bill, which is currently working its way through the Oireachtas, proposes that all developments should have 10% affordable and 10% social housing as a condition of their approval.

Affordable housing schemes help lower-income households buy their own houses or apartments in new developments at significantly less than their open market value, while social housing is provided by local authorities and housing agencies to those who cannot afford their own accommodation.

The Council meeting, part of the pre-draft stage of forming the Development Plan to run from 2023 to 2029, was to examine the overarching strategies that will inform the draft plan to come before councillors by the end of the year and Cllr McDonnell said a more ambitious target for affordable housing was absolutely necessary.

“It must be included that at least 50% of housing must be affordable [in social housing developments],” he said.

This sentiment was echoed by Cllr Eddie Hoare (FG) who questioned if the City Council was ‘tied down’ by national guidelines, or if it could increase the minimum percentage of affordable housing required locally.
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.

Continue Reading

Local Ads

Local Ads

Advertisement
Advertisement

Facebook

Advertisement

Trending