The INMO has strongly criticised plans by University Hospital Limerick’s management to close an in-patient ward, with the loss of 17 funded medical beds.
The beds facing closure are in Ward 1A, primarily for the treatment of medical patients who require short periods of admission. The INMO learned of the plans in recent weeks, writing to the CEO on March 6, to object to the loss of hospital capacity.
University Hospital Limerick is already the most overcrowded hospital in Ireland, with the INMO’s daily Trolley Watch showing that 11,400 patients were on trolleys, without beds, in the hospital in 2018. Today, a total of 76 people were waiting for hospital beds in UHL, with 54 waiting in the emergency department, and 22 elsewhere in the hospital.
INMO Industrial Relations Officer for Limerick, Mary Fogarty, said:“Limerick is the most overcrowded hospital in the country. Overcrowding is endemic and we already see unacceptable numbers of patients forced to wait without a proper bed. It simply does not make sense to close further beds when faced with such a problem. We need to be going in the opposite direction."
She said: “Closing beds will only worsen Limerick’s overcrowding crisis, leading to compromised treatment and patients being forced to wait on public corridors."
Ms Fogarty said: “Closing these 17 funded beds is a disservice to the patients and staff at the hospital. Sadly, to date the hospital management has refused to review this illogical decision.”
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