The Saolta Hospital Group has admitted that the CT Scanner (CAT Scan) at Portiuncula Hospital, Ballinasloe, has been out of action for 144 hours this month (September) and despite this being the 10th time it has broken down over the last 18 months it won’t be replaced until 2022, Denis Naughten TD has confirmed.
“The admission that this scanner will not be replaced until 2022 is unacceptable as the Government announces plans to expand access to diagnostic services such as CT scans to deal with huge waiting lists,” stated Denis Naughten.
“It is just not good enough that we have to wait another two years until this machine is replaced because not only is this impacting on waiting lists but it is also adding to overcrowding in the A&E at Portiuncula Hospital, which is servicing the western part of the Midlands as well as a large geographic part of the province of Connacht.”
Denis Naughten added: “While the Minister for Health has announced a big plan to spend €600 million to help address overcrowding in our hospitals this winter, including providing access to diagnostic tests for GPs, there is little point if our CT scanner in Portiuncula is not even working for emergency cases.
“And in a perverse example of what is wrong with our health service, we have a CT scanner just over the road in Roscommon Hospital, which can cater for many more patients, but uses a different software system to that in Ballinasloe. This is despite the fact that both hospitals are supposed to be working closely together in the one hospital group, Saolta, which was originally established in January 2012 as the Galway and Roscommon University Hospital Group, the very first one set up in Ireland.
“But it’s not just the lack of upgrading equipment or buying a software package, we also have medical politics at play.
“After I placed pressure on the Government in 2015 it eventually installed a state-of-the-art TRASNA telemedicine stroke machine at Portiuncula which would allow doctors at other hospitals to make life-saving stroke diagnoses of patients in Ballinasloe thus providing a 24/7 stroke service at the hospital. Yet this never happened because the clinicians within the Saolta Hospital Group would not agree to operate this machine and another one in Mayo General Hospital.
“These are basic things that the taxpayer is funding to a huge extent within our hospital system and yet because A is not joined up to B and then connected to B, patients’ lives are put at risk and hard-earned public funds are being wasted,” concluded Denis Naughten.
copy of reply: CT scanner Portiuncula