Mayo University Hospital in Castlebar has had to cope with an influx of patients due to the closure of the emergency department in Roscommon and pressure on University Hospital Galway.
That’s according to Mayo TD Dara Calleary, who said this is placing the fantastic staff and patients under intolerable stress.
He told the Minister for Health Simon Harris in the Dáil yesterday that the hospital was built for 20,000 patients, but in 2016 it had catered for 40,000 patients, and that overcrowding at University Hospital Galway is contributing to the problem in Castlebar.
Dara Calleary was in the emergency department over Christmas and spent time watching the staff and the patients ‘trying to work and be treated under intolerable conditions’.
“It is a tribute to the staff that they are managing to deal with in excess of 40,000 patients. We need progress on this. It has been delayed, with site visits and site inspections taking place for years.
“We need to see some type of ground works proceeding and action happening before next winter. A modular extension is a temporary solution, but the longer it is delayed the less temporary it will become.
“Mayo University Hospital has also had to cope with a larger influx of patients as a consequence of the closure of the emergency department in Roscommon and due to the pressure on University Hospital Galway.
“People in the north of Galway find it quicker to go to Castlebar than to go their city hospital.
“The management, medical staff in the emergency department and the Saolta University Health Care Group are doing everything they can and treating the issue with the urgency that is required. We need similar urgency from the HSE and the Department,” said Dara Calleary.
Minister Simon Harris said: “I am actively considering a number of locations where we could provide modular units and modular builds, and Mayo is one such site.
“We are awaiting a number of proposals from the HSE in that regard. I do not wish to say to the people of the country that we have plenty of capital to increase the size of their hospitals but that it will take a number of years to build the extensions and wings.
“Bricks and mortar take time so I am looking favourably at modular units in that context, and Mayo is certainly under consideration.”