Less than 30 days after an agreement was signed between private hospitals in Galway and the Saolta group, the extra capacity in the private hospitals is "not being used appropriately".
This is the view of Independent Galway West TD, Catherine Connolly, who has called the situation "unacceptable", and who has tabled a series of questions to the Minister for Health, Simon Harris, for reply in the Dáil later today [Thursday April 30].
While Dep Connolly has welcomed the increased bed capacity, she is seeking clarification on the nature of the agreement between the HSE and the private hospitals, as Minister Harris has only made the heads of the agreement, but not the details of the agreement itself, available.
She added that it was a matter of "great concern" that, even though the heads of agreement were signed on April 2, the hospitals are functioning at only 25 per cent capacity. She also alleged that "not all consultants" had signed up to the public contract.
"It is all the more difficult to understand," said Dep Connolly, "given that patients are being informed that elective surgeries are not going ahead and that there are inexplicable delays in carrying out time-sensitive operations."