As the fight for better medical services across the Mid-West intensifies, a number of community health campaigns have merged together.
Formed in response to record breaking overcrowding at University Hospital Limerick, The Mid-West Hospital Campaign was officially launched on Wednesday and will hold a coordinated day of action this Saturday.
Listed among the key objectives for the group are the end of overcrowding in UHL, a reversal of cuts to public hospitals, better conditions for health workers, the restoration of a type three hospital in Ennis plus the reopening of A&Es at Ennis, Nenagh and St Johns.
Members of The Mid-West Hospital Campaign are from Clare, Limerick and Tipperary, they are supported by numerous community groups, SIPTU and FORSA trade unions, Trades Councils in the Mid-West, independent politicians and political parties including Sinn Féin, Labour and Solidarity.
Ballyvaughan native Noeleen Moran is part of the Clare campaign. “University Hospital Limerick is consistently the most overcrowded hospital in the country. The volume of people affected is increasing with each year that passes. At the start of April 2019 the INMO’s Trolley Watch recorded 92 the highest number of patients waiting on trolleys ever in an Irish hospital. Throughout the summer months there has been repeated calls for the general public to refrain from using the A&E unless absolutely necessary, this is not acceptable”.
Seamus Ryan who like Moran contested the local elections in May is also part of the campaign. He told The Clare Echo, “The decision to privatise and hollow out our health service has proven itself a disastrous strategy. Since Ennis, Nenagh and St Johns hospitals were downgraded; overcrowding has risen from 208 in 2009 to 1206 in 2019. Health service workers from SIPTU & the INMO have expressed their anger and highlighted time and time again their deep concerns about the safety and care of their patients left lying on trolleys in accident and emergency departments across the country. We are outraged at the unacceptable conditions being experienced by both patients and staff.”
Ennis, Nenagh and Limerick City will hold a coordinated day of action this Saturday, The Ennis street stall and petition drive will run at O’Connell Square from 11am. Future protests and actions are being planned by the group.