Fianna Fáil TD for Cork North Central Billy Kelleher has expressed concern over the lack of Emergency Consultant cover in 9 hospital Emergency Departments around the country.

The figures, released to Fianna Fáil through Parliamentary Questions, show that nine hospitals around the country with 24/7 Emergency Departments across the country do not have an Emergency Medicine Consultant present around the clock.

Deputy Kelleher commented, “This information is deeply disquieting.  These figures confirm major deficits in emergency cover in our hospitals – in fact a shocking 9 out of 29 Emergency Departments nationwide do not have a named Consultant in Emergency Medicine available and clinically accountable on a 24/7 basis”.

The nine hospitals are

  • Mercy University Hospital Cork
  • Kerry General Hospital
  • Midland Regional, Mullingar
  • Midland Regional, Portlaoise
  • Our Lady’s Hospital, Navan
  • Portiuncula Hospital
  • South Tipperary General Hospital
  • St Luke’s Hospital, Kilkenny

·           Wexford General Hospital

“This is really not acceptable and cannot be best patient safety practice. To have almost one in three EDs relying on junior doctors without senior supervision can only jeopardise patient care”, said Deputy Kelleher.

“This is not a new development. None of these nine hospitals had 24/7 cover two years ago either, and many of them have seen significant increases in overcrowding in the intervening time.

“Efforts must be put in place to ensure that all these hospitals have an Emergency Medicine Consultant available and clinically accountable on a 24/7 basis, without delay. Patient care and safety cannot be allowed to be compromised in this manner”.