Date Published: 30-Jun-2011
By Dara Bradley
Minister for Health Dr James Reilly was shocked by scenes at the Emergency Department of University Hospital Galway when he made an impromptu and unannounced visit yesterday.
There were 23 patients lying on trolleys in corridors waiting for beds to become available, one of them an elderly man who was in his 20th hour on a trolley.
Minister Reilly, who was in Galway at an official function at NUI Galway, decided ‘on the spur of the moment’ to visit UHG at 10am on Thursday to see firsthand the overcrowding situation at the city hospital, which has hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons in local and national press, consistently being rated the worst performing in the country in the HSE’s monthly Healthstat reports.
Minister Reilly gave only a few minutes’ notice to UHG, ringing ahead to announce his visit just as his ministerial car was pulling in the hospital gates.
When he arrived 23 patients were languishing on trolleys in the corridors of the Emergency Department waiting for a bed to be freed-up inside, many had spent the night and one elderly man had spent 20 hours on a trolley with no sign of a bed becoming available.
Dr Martin Connor, newly appointed head of the new ‘Special Delivery Unit’, a new unit charged with reducing waiting lists in the country’s hospitals, visited UHG hours after the Minister left – it is his first ‘port of call’ since being appointed in June. Chairperson of HSE West regional forum, Cllr Pádraig Conneely (FG) said the visits show the Government and Minister has made UHG a priority.
Minister Reilly, in an interview with the Galway City Tribune following his spontaneous visit, said he is determined to aggressively bring about change at the city hospital.
“When I arrived there were 23 people on trolleys waiting for a bed and admission, I chatted and apologised to one man who was on a trolley for 20 hours, and another man who was there for 12 hours. That’s not good enough . . . patients are extraordinarily tolerant and good humoured, but I’m not going to preside over this sort of situation . . . I’m absolutely determined and committed that this is going to change,” he said.
For more on this story, see the Galway City Tribune.
Galway ‘Park and Ride’ could become permanent
Date Published: 07-May-2013
A park ‘n’ ride scheme from Carnmore into Galway city could become a permanent service if there is public demand.
That’s according to the Chief Executive of Galway Chamber of Commerce, Michael Coyle.
The pilot scheme will begin at 7.20 next Monday morning, May 13th.
Motorists will be able to park cars at the airport carpark in Carnmore and avail of a bus transfer to Forster Street in the city.
Buses will depart every 20 minutes at peak times and every 30 minutes at offpeak times throughout the day, at a cost of 2 euro per journey.
Tuam awaits UK hay import as overnight rainfall adds to fodder crisis
Date Published: 09-May-2013
Tuam is now awaiting a third import of hay from the UK as overnight rainfall has increased pressure on farmers struggling to source fodder.
A total of ten loads are expected at Connacht Gold stores throughout the West with a load expected at the Airglooney outlet this evening or tomorrow.
Farmers throughout the county have been struggling to cope with the animal feed shortage and a below than normal grass growth due to unseasonal weather conditions.
Overnight rainfall in the Galway area has also added to the problem making ground conditions in many areas are quite poor.
Joe Waldron, Agricultual Advisor with Connacht Gold says farmers in short supply can contact the Airglooney outlet on 093 – 24101.
Transport Minister urges end to Bus Eireann strike action
Date Published: 12-May-2013
The Transport Minister is urging drivers at Bus Éireann to engage in talks with management, in an effort to bring their strike action to an end.
There were no Bus Éireann services operating out of Galway today as a result of nationwide strike action by staff affiliated with the national bus and rail union.
Up to 20 Bus Éireann drivers are continuing to picket outside the bus depot at the docks in the city this evening.
Drivers from other unions have decided not to cross the picket line and go into work today – causing the disruption to be even worse.
Bus drivers are protesting against five million euro worth of cuts to their overtime and premium pay – cuts which Bus Eireann says are vital to ensure the future viability of the company.
The majority of services nationwide are disrupted, and the union say strike action will continue until management are willing to go back into negotiations.
However, it’s not expected to affect school services next week.
Galway bay fm news understands that around 70 percent, or over 100 Galway bus Eireann drivers are affiliated with the NBRU.