More than a third of ED patients last year were medical card holders

A total of 75,413 patients attended the emergency department of University Hospital Galway in the past year. Of these 71,230 were new patients while 4,183 were review patients. Some 21,324 were medical card patients.

The number of patients referred by a GP was 35,540. Some 33,626 patients had referral letters, 504 did not have such letters, and 1,410 were referred from other hospitals with referral letters from other consultants.

The information was in reply to a query by Cllr Donagh Killilea, a member of the HSE West’s regional health forum, who asked the health authority to confirm the number of patients who used the ED in the past year. He asked for a breakdown of how many patients were medical card holders and also the number of patients that were seen by a GP or Westdoc prior to going to the ED. He also inquired if there was any money owed to the HSE for ED services.

In reply, Tony Canavan, the CEO of Saolta University Health Care Group, outlined that the number of patients who were referred by Westdoc was included in the above figures having been referred with a GP referral letter.

He stated that there was more than €1 million (€1,080,179 ) owed to the HSE for ED services. Some €247,203 of this debt existed for up to a year.


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