Limerick's Regional Hospital (UHL) is in crisis. There has been a 26% increase in patients on trolleys in A&E this year alone. This overcrowding is the result of cuts and the closure of the A&E's in Ennis, Nenagh and in St. Johns Hospital.
Fianna Fail started this process of cuts and A&E closures, shutting Ennis & Nenagh A&Es and cutting back St. John's. Fine Gael & Labour (with Jan O Sullivan in cabinet) continued, and shut down St. John's A&E.
The UHL in Dooradoyle was landed with more patients, and less beds and nurses. The result is this crisis.
Use the election to demand the reopening of closed wards & A&Es
The Anti-Austerity Alliance has fought against these health cuts. When these cuts began in 2008, Cian Prendiville organised a protest outside St. John's and a campaign to stop the A&E closures. Now we are demanding the reversal of these cuts, and the reopening of St. John's, Ennis & Nenagh A&E's.
With the General Election around the corner, this is a huge opportunity to put this issue firmly on the agenda. When the parties come knocking on your door, ask them if they will promise to re-open the closed A&E's to take the pressure of UHL? Will they pledge to reverse the cuts to the numbers of beds, nurse and staff?
It is not just the A&Es that were closed. Around 2,000 hospital beds and 37,500 staff have been cut nationally. The result is the nurses, doctors and other staffed are over-worked, under-resourced and under-appreciated.