Opening a kidney dialysis centre at Ennis General Hospital would save the Department of Health thousands of euro according to elected representatives of Clare County Council.
A joint motion from councillors Pat Daly, Pat McMahon and James Breen requested the local authority to ask both the HSE and Department of Health “to provide a kidney dialysis centre at Ennis General Hospital”.
Speaking at the February meeting of Clare County Council, Cllr Daly claimed “up to 50 patients in Clare are on kidney dialysis” which they are treated for in Limerick and Galway, “the transport cost is enormous, €1000s is spent every week”. The Ennis councillor added, “I know a man in Kilrush who leaves at 9:30am, he gets his dialysis and is only back home at 7:30pm, you’d be over to New York in the same time. The kidney association of Clare previously looked for this and they said the old ICU would be the ideal location”. His Fianna Fáil colleague, Cllr Pat McMahon believed, “this would be a step in the right direction”.
Cllr James Breen flagged the cost involved of transporting patients via taxis. “The cost involved transporting those patients to dialysis units in Limerick and Galway is enormous. People in Kilrush and Carrigaholt receiving treatment are almost five hours on the road. The cost of taxis to and from is enormous”.
“It is another example of how disadvantaged the people of Clare are with the people in the health service,” Cllr Tom McNamara stated. He said patients are being transported by taxi three times a week to Limerick or Galway. “I will raise this at the March meeting of the HSE Forum and will try bring it up with the Minister,” the Kilmaley councillor confirmed.