Galway’s public health service stands accused of ‘fiddling figures’ in order to portray that there are fewer sick people languishing on waiting lists.
It has been confirmed that the number of people on inpatients’ waiting lists at University Hospital Galway (UHG) has spiralled by 7,000 within a year.
In 2013, regional health forum members were told that the inpatients’ waiting list at UHG had been reduced to 1,300.
It emerged this week, however, that that figure now stands at 8,300.
Galway City Councillor, Pádraig Conneely, who revealed the figures at the health forum meeting, said UHG was now the, “worst hospital in the country for inpatient waiting lists”.
This, he said, was “embarrassing” and a “disgrace” for a hospital that was “supposed to be a centre of excellence”.
Cllr Conneely lashed the previous hospital chairman, Bill Maher, for providing “fantasy figures” last year. He said that the 2013 figures couldn’t have been correct if they had jumped by 7,000 in only 12 months.
He said that a city woman came to him last week to complain that she was put on an inpatient waiting list in October, 2013. “Sixteen months later and she is still waiting. This is despite the fact that she was considered as an emergency,” he said.
Tony Canavan, Chief Operating officer of SAOLTA University Health Care Group, which includes UHG, outlined to the meeting that he was less concerned about the embarrassment caused to the hospital and more concerned about the patients on the lists.
He said there was a number of reasons why the waiting lists had increased, including that the number of referrals to UHG had jumped considerably in 2014.
Mr Canavan said Galway was the busiest hospital in the country, and had the busiest Emergency Department in the country, which contributed to waiting lists.
He outlined a number of measures being taken to address the issue, including referring Galway-based patients to hospitals in Roscommon and Mayo for certain inpatients procedures.
Water outages across Knocknacarra and Barna due to burst watermain
Galway Bay fm newsroom – There are water outages across Knocknacarra and Barna this morning due to a burst watermain
The burst is in a rising main from Clifton Hill in Galway City to Tonabrucky Reservoir
The city council and Irish Water says while every effort is being made to maintain supply to as many customers as possible, the burst has caused water levels in Tonabrucky Reservoir to deplete
Houses and businesses in Knocknacarra, Barna and surrounding areas will experience low pressure and outages.
Dedicated water service crews have mobilised and repairs are underway and are expected to be completed by mid-afternoon.
Traffic management will be in place and Letteragh Road will be closed between Sliabh Rua and Tonabrucky Cross until 6pm.
Householders and businessses are being asked to conserve water where possible to reduce the pressure on local supplies and allow reservoir levels to restore.
Woman sustains serious injuries after being struck by firework in Eyre Square
Gardaí are appealing for witnesses after a young woman was struck in the face by a firework in Eyre Square in the city overnight.
It happened shortly after midnight and gardai say it’s understood the firework had been launched from close to the Tourist Information Kiosk.
The young woman suffered serious injuries and was hospitalised as a result.
Gardaí understand there was a large group of people in Eyre Square at the time and are now asking that any person who may have witnessed the incident make contact with the investigating team.
In particular Gardaí are appealing to anyone who may have video footage of the incident, either on mobile phone, CCTV or dash-cam to make contact with them.
This incident comes just days after a policing committee meeting was told of increasing concern about anti social behaviour around Eyre Square.
Garda chief suggests closing Eyre Square to curb anti-social behaviour
From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Closing Eyre Square at night-time was among the radical suggestions put forward by Galway’s top Garda this week – in response to claims that the city centre’s famous landmark had become a ‘no-go area’ after dark.
It comes as Gardaí confirmed that since January they issued almost 500 fines for breaches of the city’s alcohol bylaws, which prohibit the consumption of alcohol in public spaces.
Responding to claims that people were afraid to visit parts of the city centre at night due to anti-social behaviour, Chief Superintendent Tom Curley said that the authorities might have to look at closing Eyre Square at certain times.
Chief Supt Curley also said that improved lighting and better CCTV were other tools that could be used to deter anti-social behaviour and to detect crime in the city centre.
“I’d need another five officers in there – and I haven’t got them,” said Chief Supt Curley of the requirement for more Gardaí on patrol in Eyre Square.
He was responding to a charge by former mayor of Galway, Councillor Frank Fahy, who said Eyre Square was dangerous at night. “It’s a no-go area,” he said at a City Joint Policing Committee (JPC) meeting this week.
Cllr Fahy said that the illegal activity and anti-social behaviour in the city centre was a product of the Covid-19 pandemic and people socialising outdoors. Eyre Square was safe pre-Covid, he said.
In a written reply to the JPC, Chief Supt Curley said that anti-social behaviour issues had been ‘de-escalated’ along the city’s canals, Woodquay and Spanish Arch ‘as a result of extra Garda patrols’.
“The resulting consequences have led to crowd movement from these areas (and they) are now congregating at Eyre Square. Garda attention is concentrated on Eyre Square, however the return of students and the continued restrictions has led to increased numbers,” he said.
(Photo: a scene from Eyre Square at night this week taken from a video circulated on social media)
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.