Fianna Fáil TD for Galway West Éamon Ó Cuív says patients in Mayo appear to be getting priority treatment when it comes to x-ray provision in the Western region.  According to figures from the Saolta Hospital Group only 87 x-rays were carried out at the Clifden x-ray unit in 2016, with many patients being sent to University Hospital Galway.  In contrast, more than 1,000 patients were seen in the x-ray unit in Belmullet, and now there are plans to open another unit in Castlebar.

Deputy Ó Cuív commented, “I find it difficult to understand how one unit in Belmullet can function so efficiently, seeing more than 1,000 patients in a year and accepting direct referrals, thereby reducing the pressure on Mayo University Hospital, while at the same time, saving patients from a two and a half hour round-trip for a short procedure, when the clinic in Clifden only managed to cater for 87 patients in the same timeframe.

“There appears to be a complete disconnect in the system, with services in Galway lagging far behind those in Mayo.  Many patients in Connemara end up going to UHG for their x-rays, exacerbating an already pressurised system.  It makes no sense that someone would chose to travel from Connemara into the city, when an x-ray unit is available in their own area.

“The attitude to the service in Mayo appears to be completely patient driven – and is conscious of the need to save people the unnecessary expense and inconvenience of travelling to acute hospitals for services which are available on their doorstep.

“I am calling on the Saolta Group to re-examine the situation in Clifden to establish if they can improve the uptake of services at the unit to make life more convenient for people living in Connemara and to relieve the pressure on the unit at UHG”.