Breen welcomes increased funding for the Midwest Hospitals Group

February 5th, 2013 - Pat Breen

Clare T.D. and Chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade Pat Breen has today (Tuesday) welcomed the news that the Budget for the HSE Mid-West Hospitals Group has increased by €24.5 million this year.

“Despite the doom and gloom about our Hospital services in this Region, and given that we are in the midst of a recession, this increase of €24.5 million in funding for the HSE Mid-West Group represents a sizeable investment in the Hospital network in our Region and indicates our Government’s strong support for improved health services for the people of this Region.

Having witnessed a significant increase in the demand for services with the number of people requiring admission to our Hospitals increasing since before Christmas, particularly at the A&E Department at the Mid-Western Regional Hospital in Limerick where patients were experiencing long delays which was causing a lot of upset for patients, their families as well as the nursing and medical staff working there, I have consistently made the point in a number of meetings which I had with the Health Minister James Reilly T.D. and HSE Officials that more funding was required this year to alleviate the situation. And I am delighted now that the Health Minister and the HSE have responded positively to my concerns.

Since this Government came to office, I have worked hard and I have continued to campaign for better health services for the people of County Clare and a number of very positive developments have taken place. Ennis General Hospital has been given a new lease of life. €2.5 million has been invested in a new endoscopy unit; x-ray waiting lists have been eliminated and the new €15 million state of the art 50 bed wing, the first SARI compliant facility in the Country is up and running. The Framework for Development of Smaller Hospitals which will be published shortly by Minister Reilly I understand will further enhance the range of services which will be provided at Ennis General Hospital. And in spite of all the scare mongering from the Opposition, 90% of all accident and emergency cases will continue to report to Ennis General Hospital in any new system which will be put in place.

Significant improvements are also underway at the Mid-Western Regional Hospital in Limerick where thousands of Clare patients are also treated annually. Such is the level of investment in the Hospitals Infrastructure that the development there is now the biggest construction site in Munster. The first patients have begun to be treated at the new state of the art €35 million Critical Care unit and work is well underway on the rebuilding of the acute psychiatric unit.

While it is too early to speculate on the specific details of this funding given that the HSE Service Plan for the Region is not finalised, I would hope that further progress can be made on improving the A&E Facilities in Limerick. The ideal solution to the problem is to have the new Emergency Unit put in place there as quickly as possible which would help to alleviate this overcrowding and this is certainly an issue I will be continuing to pursue over the coming weeks.”