Murphy hits out at overcrowding issues at Portiuncula A&E

Fianna Fáil Deputy for Roscommon-Galway, Eugene Murphy, has hit out at overcrowding issues at Portiuncula A&E department, which resulted in a number of sick children being transported to the Midlands Regional Hospital in Mullingar for treatment last weekend.

The Fianna Fáil Deputy noted that a number of families with sick children from County Roscommon ended up having to be transported by ambulance to the Midlands Regional Hospital in Mullingar due to a lack of beds in the paediatric ward in Ballinasloe.

Deputy Murphy also pointed out that a number of elderly people, some of whom are in their 90s, were left lying on trolleys in the A&E department of Portiuncula on Friday night.

“According to INMO figures, there were 12 people on trolleys in Portiuncula Hospital on Friday, and I understand that Friday night was particularly busy in the A&E with a number of elderly people left lying on trolleys including a number of people in their 90s,” he said. “The continual overcrowding problems in Portiuncula Hospital are being exasperated by the closure of St Clare’s ward at the weekend which could have provided an additional 16 to 18 beds.

“I understand that St Clare’s ward, which is a day ward open during the weekdays, was closed on Friday night, which only added to the overcrowding problems in the A&E. This is obviously due to a staffing or resources issue and is having a detrimental knock-on effect on overcrowding at the A&E and a further 19 people were on trolleys in Ballinasloe on Monday.”

Deputy Murphy said that the people of County Roscommon were being treated like second class citizens when it comes to health care as Portiuncula Hospital is designated as their nearest A&E and is not equipped to deal with patient numbers as they stand.

“I am aware of one particular family from County Roscommon whose six-year-old son had suspected appendicitis and they attended Portiuncula Hospital on Friday evening around 6pm.

“The child received excellent care in Mullingar but the point is Portiuncula is supposed to be the designated A&E for people from Roscommon and yet the resources are clearly not in Ballinasloe to deal with ongoing overcrowding issues.”

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