Local TD Denis Naughten has secured a Dáil debate next week on the impending bed crisis within our hospitals. This follows serious concerns he raised with TDs from all parties regarding the number of trolleys in Portiuncula Hospital, Ballinasloe.
“Next week the Health Minister Simon Harris will have to come before Dáil Éireann to explain what measures he is taking to address the reduction in capacity of our hospitals as a result of Covid-19,” stated Denis Naughten.
“Since the start of June, on average there has been eight patients on trolleys at Portiuncula Hospital every day, which is as a direct result of changes to the bed reconfiguration in the hospital as a result of Covid-19.
“One in every 10 beds in Portiuncula has been lost as a direct result of measures to reduce the risk of infection from Covid-19 and we need to see direct and immediate action from the HSE to address this problem.
“In the interim I would also appeal to those referred to Portiuncula by their GP to ask if they can be treated in Roscommon Hospital, which is within half an hour of Athlone and within an hour’s drive of Tuam, Turloughmore, Bullaun and Eyrecourt.
“Patients should ask GPs if they can have tests or x-rays in Roscommon Hospital rather than spending hours in an emergency department waiting to see a doctor before accessing x-rays or scans. This will take pressure off Portiuncula and reduce the risk of infection from Covid-19,” said Denis Naughten.
Roscommon’s Injury Unit can treat broken bones, dislocations, sprains, strains, wounds, scalds and minor burns that are unlikely to need admission to hospital. Staff in Roscommon’s Injury Unit perform x-rays, reduce joint dislocations, apply plaster casts and treat wounds by stitches or other means.
Denis Naughten pointed out: “We need to better utilise Roscommon’s injury unit, which can provide for quick diagnosis and discharge back into the community and ensure that people do not have long stays for tests, as is the case in emergency departments.
“This would also help to take pressure off staff in Portiuncula and ensure that older people and children can access treatment quicker in Ballinasloe” concluded Denis Naughten.