Fianna Fáil General Election candidate for Galway West Cllr. Mary Hoade says the Taoiseach’s admission that University Hospital Galway is unfit for purpose is too little too late.  Enda Kenny’s comments come as figures from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation reveal that there were 480 people treated on trolleys at the hospital’s Emergency Department last month.

Cllr. Hoade commented, “I have been highlighting the seriousness of the situation at UHG for months and nothing has changed.  Every day we are seeing people left for hours on end on trolleys in the Emergency Department because of a chronic shortage of beds and space.  The department was originally designed to cater for 100 people but staff are seeing 250 people pass through it every day.  The department is simply not designed to deal with this level of throughput and it is buckling under the pressure.

“Last week the Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin came to UHG to see the situation first hand and was appalled by the conditions that patients and staff are having to endure.  What’s worse is the fact that the hospital is not included in the Government’s Capital Expenditure Plan, which was announced in September.  Essentially, Fine Gael and Labour have abandoned University Hospital Galway and have no plans to change that.  It is disgraceful that a hospital, which is the healthcare hub for the West and North West of the country, has been left off the Government’s agenda, despite being in the grip of a major overcrowding crisis.  Earlier today I challenged the Taoiseach to come and see the situation at UHG for himself.

“We have a Health Minister who is more concerned about surviving the Department of Health than managing it, and who prefers to commentate from the sidelines rather than implementing policies which could improve the situation.  Unless the capacity issue is addressed, overcrowding at UHG will continue to deteriorate.  I am fearful about the winter months and how the hospital will cope with the demands placed on it.  This Government’s excuses are ringing hollow with sick people in Galway.  The Taoiseach has now admitted that the hospital is no longer fit for purpose, but he’s not prepared to do anything about it.   This is not good enough.”