Deplorable situation


Deplorable situation

A Co limerick-based senator writes of the deplorable situation in Regional Hospital’s A&E Deartment.

Saturday, 23 February 2013
12:00 AM GMT

Dear Editor,

Last Monday night I attended the Accident and Emergency Department of the Regional Hospital with a close relative who had sustained a number of injuries.

It is a year and a half since nurses in desperation at the conditions took steps to highlight the problem to the HSE and the Minister for Health. Since then public representatives have been told that the situation has been greatly improved. What I witnessed on Monday night was in direct contradiction of this.

The situation in the A&E department of the Regional Hospital is what a medic would diagnose as critical.

At half past eight the waiting area was overcrowded, with hardly room for patients to sit down. There was a five hour waiting time to see a doctor and the walking wounded with their families were in a daze. Welcome to Ireland in 2013. Inside the A&E department a nurse told me that they have thirty three trollies with little room for them. But at that stage of a Monday evening there were seventy seven patients for those trollies.

As my relative went for an x-ray I spoke with a young mother who had been there with her eight year old boy since half past one that day, almost eight hours. The boy was obviously ill and thrown across two chairs trying to sleep with his head propped on a coat. His mother remarked to me that she could not wait to leave this country and in a few weeks herself, her husband and two young children will depart for Australia.

The reality of where our country is at really hit home at that moment. A nurse told me that there would be more regulations and room for livestock at Kilmallock Mart than there were here. HIQA I was told have not visited and if they did the place may be closed down.

Nenagh and Ennis A&E departments were closed. Would the Minister sell the castle he lives in before he had another place to go? This is what has happened with health services in the Mid-West.

It’s an absolute disgrace the conditions that nurses and doctors are expected to endure. No wonder morale is low and if something is not done soon I fear that there could be a major incident. I am calling on the people of Limerick to demand a decent service and I challenge the Minister to come with me unannounced on any given day and see for himself the realities of the health system that he presides over.

My benchmarks for judging a successful society are health and education services. From what I saw on Monday night Ireland is failing miserably.

Senator James Heffernan,

Main St.,


Co Limerick.

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