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Limerick Regional Hospital Impose Visiting Restrictions

The total count for patients forced to remain on trolleys at Limerick Regional Hospital yesterday was 51 according to the today’s Irish Times.

Mary Fogarty, industrial relations officer with the INMO in the mid-west region, stated that over Christmas patients had little access to diagnostic tests and procedures and this led to very few discharges. She stated the hospital has been under severe pressure since reconfiguration of acute services in the mid-west region began in April 2009. A spokesman for the hospital said emergency departments are under pressure because of cold weather, seasonal demands and swine flu.

Meanwhile according to Tipp Fm Radio today visiting restrictions are in place at the Mid-Western Regional Hospital due to the presence of influenza cases. People are asked not to visit the hospital unless it is absolutely essential.

According to management at the hospital, unwell patients who may have flu like symptoms should not visit the hospital.  Pregnant women or young adults and those with chronic illnesses should not visit suspect or confirmed cases and these visiting restrictions will remain in place until the situation has been resolved. Meanwhile many appointments with out patients are being cancelled.

This situation now confirms the argument that the closure of services at Nenagh Hospital, not only places patients at unacceptable distances from acute life-saving medical care, forcing people to travel unnecessarily to an overworked and overwhelmed central hospital in Limerick, but in truth leaves us without any real reliable medical service in North Tipperary at all.

This unacceptable situation must now become an election issue on all doorsteps in North Tipperary in the coming weeks with those political candidates who choose to seek out our valuable support. Remember, while we can not change the direction of the wind, we can adjust our sails in our efforts to reach our required destinations.

Meanwhile, we are informed that all appropriate infection control measures are being taken to deal with this situation at the Mid-Western Regional Hospital.

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