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*An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin at Meira GTx’s Shannon facility. Photograph: Brian Arthur

IMPROVEMENTS ARE becoming visible at University Hospital Limerick (UHL), the Taoiseach has claimed.

Despite UHL setting a new record for seven day attendances at its emergency department last month, the Taoiseach remained of the view that conditions were improving at the region’s main hospital but acknowledged further advancements were needed.

Over the seven-day period to Wednesday, August 31st, there was an average 214 attendances every day at the Emergency Department. This exceeds the 210 average daily attendances during 2021, which was busiest year on record.

However, speaking in Co Clare over the past week, An Taoiseach Micheál Martin (FF) noted, “A lot of investment went into the hospital, extra beds and investment in A&E. In more recent times, the HSE has sent a team in and there has been a team in UHL, improvements are beginning to be seen now in terms of patient flow through the hospitals and various initiatives and innovations taking place with how the hospital is organised, that’s important and that will continue in terms of the HSE having an input nationally into how we work to try and improve the situation at UHL, it has to be improved, investments have been made, more investments will be made but they will take time like additional bed capacity and so on”.

He added, “Organisationally how the hospital is organised, I’ve seen how the reforms are organised to better manage patient flow in the hospital which is the key issue to managing overflowing A&E departments and the flow through the hospital. Obviously COVID-19 had a big impact on UHL but it had a big impact on every hospital, the level of delays are not satisfactory”.

When asked if reasonable wait times would be improved by the end of this current Government, the Taoiseach replied, “By my understanding there is improvements happening as we speak”.

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