Overspend at hospitals jumps by €3m in month
Date Published: 03-Nov-2011
BY CIARAN TIERNEY
Patients are continuing to languish on trolleys at University Hospital Galway (UHG) each night while the budget deficit at the city’s two public hospitals continues to spiral at a rate of €3 million per month.
A meeting in Dublin on Wednesday heard that UHG and Merlin Park had gone to €12m over budget in September, the latest month for which figures are available, and a full €3m worse than the corresponding figure for the month of August.
Health Service Executive (West) officials were told that there was “no good news” in terms of funding and hospital management have instead been told to pursue private health insurers for outstanding fees due to the two hospitals.
“The over-spend at the two hospitals has gone from €9m to €12m in just a month and there are going to be major difficulties in reaching targets for the year,” said Cllr Padraig Conneely (FG), the Chairman of the HSE (West) Regional Forum.
“Management have been told that there is no more money available and they’ve been told to try to get the money which is outstanding from private health insurers, which is said to be in the region of €18 million. Because of the huge overcrowding in Galway, public patients are continuing to be put into private beds which results in a loss of revenue.”
Figures released by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) show that there were 50 patients on trolleys overnight at UHG on Tuesday night of this week, 47 on Wednesday of last week and 46 last Thursday.
Just last month, UHG and Merlin Park were labelled the worst performing hospitals in the country following the release of national statistics for 29 facilities nationwide from the HSE.
And last week the IMPACT trade union vowed not to cooperate with the appointment of a new CEO for the public hospitals in Galway and Roscommon, in the wake of plans to hire a private company to recruit senior staff for the three facilities.
The Medical Board of Galway University Hospitals has written to the Galway City Tribune this week to clarify that expenditure has been reduced by over €35 million over the past two years, while staff levels have fallen by 270 at the two hospitals.
“Overall GUH is the busiest single hospital site in the country, seeing more inpatients, outpatients and emergencies than any other hospital. This is resulting in significant pressure on the institution with problems particularly in the emergency department,” said the three senior members of the Medical Board.
For more on this story, see the Galway City Tribune.
Galway in Days Gone By
The way we were – Protecting archives of our past
People’s living conditions less than 100 years ago were frightening. We have come a long way. We talk about water charges today, but back then the local District Councils were erecting pumps for local communities and the lovely town of Mountbellew, according to Council minutes, had open sewers,” says Galway County Council archivist Patria McWalter.
Patria believes we “need to take pride in our history, and we should take the same pride in our historical records as we do in our built heritage”. When you see the wealth of material in her care, this belief makes sense.
She is in charge of caring for the rich collection of administrative records owned by Galway County Council and says “these records are as much part of our history as the Rock of Cashel is. They document our lives and our ancestors’ lives. And nobody can plan for the future unless you learn from the past, what worked and what didn’t”.
Archivists and librarians are often unfairly regarded as being dry, academic types, but that’s certainly not true of Patria. Her enthusiasm is infectious as she turns the pages of several minute books from Galway’s Rural District Councils, all of them at least 100 years old.
Part of her role involved cataloguing all the records of the Councils – Ballinasloe, Clifden, Galway, Gort, Loughrea, Mountbellew, Portumna and Tuam. These records mostly consisted of minutes of various meetings.
When she was cataloguing them she realised their worth to local historians and researchers, so she decided to compile a guide to their content. The result is For the Record: The Archives of Galway’s Rural District Councils, which will be a valuable asset to anybody with an interest in history.
Many representatives on these Councils were local personalities and several were arrested during the political upheaval of the era, she explains.
And, ushering in a new era in history, women were allowed to sit on these Rural District Councils – at the time they were not allowed to sit on County Councils.
All of this information is included in Patria’s introductory essay to the attractively produced A4 size guide, which gives a glimpse into how these Rural Councils operated and the way political thinking changed in Ireland during a short 26-year period. In the early 1900s, these Councils supported Home Rule, but by 1920, they were calling for full independence and refusing to recognise the British administration.
“I love the tone,” says Patria of the minutes from meetings. “The language was very emotive.”
That was certainly true of the Gort Rural District Council. At a meeting in 1907, following riots in Dublin at the premiere of JM Synge’s play, The Playboy of the Western World the councillors’ response was vehement. They recorded their decision to “protest most emphatically against the libellous comedy, The Playboy of the Western World, that was belched forth during the past week in the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, under the fostering care of Lady Gregory and Mr Yeats. We congratulate the good people of Dublin in howling down the gross buffoonery and immoral suggestions that are scattered throughout this scandalous performance.
For more from the archives see this week’s Tribunes here
Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr
Date Published: 23-Jan-2013
Athenry fail to take chances as they bow out of Junior Cup
Date Published: 29-Jan-2013
Athenry FC 1
Kilbarrack United 2
(After extra time)
For the second year in succession Athenry were done in extra time in the FAI Junior Cup as last season’s beaten finalist’s came from behind to snatch an excellent game in Moanbawn on Sunday afternoon.
On a heavy pitch that was only playable following extensive groundwork by club officials all morning, the home side were by far the better side in the opening half, but failed to take advantage of a number of opportunities that came their way.
An Alan O’Donovan penalty gave them a merited advantage just after the restart, but thereafter were on the back foot as Kilbarrack took over, but for all their pressing, the home rearguard were dealing comfortably with their forays.
However they were struck a body blow just six minutes from time, as big striker Keith Kirwan was left all alone at the far post to head the equaliser and from that point on the Dubliners were the better side.
They started off the extra time in the ascendancy and enjoying all the momentum before striking for a good winning goal on 104 minutes. A strong bench allowed them to make some necessary changes and it was not a facility that was available to Athenry manager Gabriel Glavin.
With Gary Forde and Gary Delaney out through suspension following their sending off against OLBC in the previous round, and Seamie Crowe injured, it left their bench rather threadbare with just a number of young squad players available.
Playing with the aid of the slight incline and any wind advantage going, the home side had a Connor Cannon effort on target in the opening minute, while John Meleady was just over with a flick at the other end.
Meleady then tested Andrew Walsh who saved comfortably, before the goalkeeper pulled off a brilliant double save on 14 minutes.
Firstly he went full length to push away a Meleady shot and was then back on his feet to parry David Jackson’s close-range rebound.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.