Longford / Westmeath Fianna Fáil TD Robert Troy has described as “extremely serious and worrying” the need for the Midland Regional Hospital in Mullingar to go ‘off call’ today, saying he has information that a number of patients cannot be moved into more appropriate community care because of difficulty with the Fair Deal scheme.
 
“I am extremely concerned by this.  There are genuine fears in the community about access to hospital services and there is already debate up and down the country about the future of hospital care and emergency services.  The need for the hospital to go ‘off call’ will further add to anxiety.  It has come to my attention that up to 12 patients are ready to leave the hospital and transfer to more appropriate nursing home care.  However this is being delayed because of problems with the Fair Deal scheme.
 
“The Midland Regional Hospital in Mullingar is staffed by extremely dedicated nurses and doctors but the through-flow of patients is essential if the hospital is to function correctly.  When patients are not in a position to leave the hospital after receiving the necessary care this causes serious difficulty for the hospital in admitting new patients for care and procedures.”
 
“I will be discussing this issue with my party spokesperson on Health Billy Kelleher.  While the Midland Regional Hospital only went ‘off call’ for a short period today this does lead to greater transport and travel times for people in need of care, sometimes very serious trauma care, and that is not good for patient safety.  The issue of a proper through flow of patients and greater community places is essential for the hospital system to working properly.  The Minister must address the difficulties that have arisen with the Fair Deal scheme as a matter of priority,” concluded Deputy Troy.