There is no “quick fix” to the health crisis that is affecting thousands of families across the Mid-West, Clare TD Dr. Michael Harty has outlined.
Dr Harty (IND), Deputy Dooley (FF), Cllr Mark Nestor (FF) and Cllr Roisin Garvey (GP) were the elected Clare representatives present at Monday’s meeting of the Mid-West Hospital Campaign. All bar Nestor spoke at the gathering.
“I got into politics on this issue,” Harty stated. “What is happening in our casualty department is a much wider symptom, people are being funnelled into A&E. There is not a quick fix but reorientating away from acute hospitals to community health care”. He referred to Sláintecare which was unveiled last August and is described by the Department of Health as “the ten-year programme to transform our health and social care services. It is the roadmap for building a world-class health and social care service for the Irish people”.
Harty stated he was a supporter of the Mid-West Hospital Campaign and told them, “Focus on what you can and can’t do”. “UHL needs a second MRI scanner, that is needed tomorrow morning. If you want to make Ennis a functioning hospital, expand diagnostics and build two modular theatres”. He felt Ennis should be the centre for ENT care. Solidarity member, Seónaidh Ní Shíomóin responded, “I don’t agree with Dr Harty to put limitations on our expectations”.
Cllr Roisin Garvey commented, “What Dr Michael Harty is saying has a lot of merit. He knows better than most what is needed”. The Inagh woman said she was willing to get involved with the campaign “to do what I can”.
Fianna Fáil TD, Timmy Dooley also supported the views expressed by Dr Harty. “I have come to every hospital meeting organised,” he said. “Nobody is prepared to wait ten years,” Dooley acknowledged of Sláintecare. Extra beds would alleviate the issues, he outlined, “We need fifty more beds at Ennis and Nenagh. For every bed we need staffing”. The TD was interrupted by a member of the crowd who criticised the lack of improvements implemented by Clare’s public representatives which has led to people dying on trolleys.