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AN ENNISTYMON WOMAN has said she is reminded of her late husband every time she hears of overcrowding on trolleys in the Mid-West.

In May 2019, Marie McMahon shared the story of her husband Tommy Wynne who was admitted to hospital and spent 36 hours on a trolley “in the same position” before his death in April 2018, leaving behind a wife, a daughter, son-in-law, two brothers, one sister, extended family and friends.

Marie has since become an active member of the Mid-West Hospital Campaign. Speaking at Saturday’s protest, she recalled that she was “broken hearted and confused talking about the disastrous health service” when telling Tommy’s story publicly for the first time. “This time situation is worse than ever,” she said.

An “intolerable” health service in the region has “failed for years,” Marie stated. “We know what the problems are and we know what the solutions are, a model three hospital for Ennis and a fully functioning emergency department, why accept service which is not fit for purpose”.

Trolley numbers have steadily increased, she observed. During the pandemic, she flagged that members of the Mid-West Hospital Campaign secured PPE, sanitisers and gloves when nursing homes and hospitals were in need of them.

She described the figure of 126 people waiting on trolleys in April at UHL as “unacceptable”. “The numbers never dropped below 60 on any day in April, there was only two days in May when figures dropped below 70”. The tactics of UL Hospitals Group management in cancelling elective surgery to combat this did not work, Marie argued.

Frustration was voiced with the Mid-West receiving none of the new 36 ICU beds announced by the Department of Health in March.

Clare’s elected representatives need to step up, she declared. Marie referenced the stance taken by Neasa Hourigan (GP) and Patrick Costello (GP) which saw them lose the party whip over the National Maternity Hospital. “We are no longer prepared to accept a failing health service. Two Green TDs walked the walk this week, we ask the same of our representatives, people are dying every single day”.

“My husband had died unnecessarily, listen to us, if it was your mother, father, sister, brother or child you would want better for them, listen to us,” she stated. “I am still grieving because I remember him every time I look at the figures. Walk with us, talk with us and engage with us,” Marie pleaded.

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