An RTE Prime Time Investigates programme on the overcrowding crisis in Irish hospitals; which will air at 9.30pm tonight (Monday Feb. 22nd, 2016), will make for interesting viewing for those of us living in west Co. Tipperary.
The programme is expected to expose, what many observe as a “Top Heavy” management structures within the Health Service Executive (HSE), together with the need to immediately return to demands to upgrade Nenagh Hospital as a Model Three facility, incorporating on-site surgical units, which will operate once again on a 24/7 basis.
Those contributing to tonight’s programme will highlight the high patient fatality rates and the major overcrowding problems, being experienced presently in Limerick Regional Hospital. They will suggest, rightly or wrongly, that the present health-care chaos, being experienced, is simply down to poor management of our health services by a HSE that places greater value on maintaining a top-heavy management structure, rather than seeking the welfare of patients under their care.
The recent Study of the Impact of Reconfiguration on Emergency and urgent care Networks (SIREN) shows that patients survival rates for emergency cases in the Mid West Region are among the lowest in the country.
The ‘Siren Study‘ project involves University College Cork (UCC), Trinity College Dublin (TCD), the HSE, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) and the Health Research Board; is funded by the Department of Health.
Compared to Dublin. which has six emergency departments per a population of 1.2 million people; if this same model were currently in place here in the Mid West, there would only be three such emergency Departments in the capital; clearly highlighting the uneven distribution of resources with regards to the Mid West region.
The findings of this Siren Study, which compares patient admission and outcome figures for 2000 to 2012, suggests that if every county had the same death rate for emergency conditions as in Dublin, up to one thousand lives could be saved each year. This obvious disparity between regions continues to remain significant, demonstrating for those at risk here in Co. Tipperary as tantamount to “Death by Our Geographic Location.”
The foolish downgrading of Nenagh General Hospital as part of a nonsensical effort to establish a ‘Centre of Excellence’ in Limerick was allowed to proceeded, despite the major public concerns then raised by the people of Tipperary. This new evidence strongly suggests that this unwanted so called ‘model of service’ has, as was then highlighted, simply not materialised. Same fact unfortunately is further supported by evidence of people dying on trolleys; the non-operation of MRI scans; X-Rays and CT scans at weekends, now forcing senior frontline staff to become ‘Whistle-Blowers’, on the now unacceptable practices and other issues pertaining to their very own places of work.
Tonight’s RTE Prime Time programme is expected to be an eye opener for all/any would-be patients, many badly partially isolated through geographic location here within our Premier County.