A current CT scanner over 16 years old and presently installed at South Tipperary General Hospital in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary has malfunctioned yet again.
The immediate consequences of this 10 day old malfunction is that Tipperary hospital patients are now being transported to other hospitals in the region, to undergo urgent and necessary CT Scans.
This bizarre and illogical issue, which Deputy Michael Lowry TD highlighted on radio today, becomes even more ludicrous when it was revealed that there already exists a brand new CT scanner, still stored in its original packaging, waiting to be installed at the South Tipperary facility for almost 3 years.
While it is understood that works are under-way to install this new CT scanner, Deputy Lowry has been informed by the Health Service Executive (HSE) that it will be towards the end of 2016 before same is made available for regional patients use.
As a result of the old CT scanner breaking down Hospital staff are now obliged to transport urgent patients to hospitals outside the county, to we understand, hospitals in Waterford, some 52 min or 47.1km or 30 mls away and to Limerick, some 1h-24 min or 82.6km or 51mls distance, depending on CT scanner availability.
This existing and seemingly incompetent state of affairs is now causing unnecessary inconvenience to not just seriously ill patients, but to the ambulance service and overworked hospital staff, while also costing an already underfunded HSE, unnecessary extra expense.
Meanwhile a planned two-hour work stoppage by members of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) will now go ahead next week.
These stoppages are due to take place on Thursday January 14th at Beaumont Hospital, Tallaght Hospital, University College Hospital Galway, Midland Regional Hospital, Tullamore, Cork’s Mercy University Hospital, Cavan General Hospital and University Hospital Waterford.