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Parents Drive Son 200km To Avoid Nearby Overcrowded Hospital.

University Hospital Limerick (UHL).

We learn yesterday, from the Irish Examiner newspaper (Reporter Ms Niamh Griffin, Health Correspondent) that a mother, latter residing in the mid-west region drove her sick child, over three hours, to visit an Emergency Department (ED) in order to avoid an overcrowded University Hospital Limerick (UHL), despite latter medical facility being just a 20-minute drive from her place of residence.

The family made the decision to bring her son to Children’s Health Ireland (CHI) in Crumlin, Dublin on St. Stephen’s Day, in order to avoid the mid-western hospital; latter serving North Tipperary and which remains consistently the most overcrowded hospital within the Irish Republic.

The parents informed the Irish Examiner that they had decided to go straight to Crumlin Hospital. They had discussed going to the Regional Hospital in Limerick and waiting for another 12 hours, with their son in pain, before deciding it would be quicker to drive to Dublin. Here, their son was treated within a two hours period of their arrival in Crumlin Hospital.

The Irish Examiner newspaper point out that following the decisions to close Emergency Departments in three of the Midwest Region’s smaller hospitals, UHL is now the only major 24-hour Emergency Department for a population of approximately 400,000 people.

Figures made available by the University Hospitals Group show that some 76,500 people were treated in the UHL Emergency Department last year, an increase from just over 71,000 in 2019.

In comparison, the south/south-west region has two Emergency Department in Cork and one each in Tralee, Waterford and Clonmel.

Ms Mary Fogarty from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) has stated that consistently University Hospital Limerick remains the most overcrowded hospital in Ireland. The current situation in UHL’s Emergency Department she has described as unsafe, unsustainable, yet completely avoidable.

The Irish Nurses & Midwives Organisation (INMO) is once again calling on the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) to urgently investigate the overcrowding issues within the hospital and make their recommendations.

Question: What are elected Tipperary politicians, Mr J. Cahill, Mr M. Lowry and Mr A. Kelly; all representing North County Tipperary doing about it?
Answer: “Not a lot”.

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