Fianna Fáil Deputy Leader Éamon Ó Cuív TD has revealed the extent of cuts currently impacting orthopaedic services in Galway.  Deputy Ó Cuív has become aware of significant difficulties at Merlin Park Hospital due to staff shortages and budget cutbacks.
Deputy Ó Cuív said: “There are just 25 orthopaedic beds now available at Merlin Park Hospital, with 6,000 people already on waiting lists for outpatient services. This is an extremely serious situation and it is having an enormous impact on elective surgery across the west of Ireland.  
“These difficulties will only be made worse next year if they are not addressed as there are more staff due to retire from Merlin Park in February.  If these healthcare workers are not replaced, elective surgery in Merlin Park may be at risk.  
“I have spoken to my colleague, Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Health Billy Kelleher, and I am calling on Health Minister James Reilly and HSE West to act immediately to protect orthopaedic services in Merlin Park.  Staff should be recruited immediately so that these essential frontline services in Merlin Park can be maintained.  
“Thousands of people benefit from orthopaedic services across the country every year.  It is crucial that our services in Galway and the west of Ireland are not threatened.  Minister Reilly has so far failed to set out a comprehensive plan for how management of the health service retirements will be managed in a matter of weeks.  I am urging him to do so without delay, and to ensure that Merlin Park Hospital can continue to deliver care to those who need it.”