Fianna Fail TD for Mayo, Lisa Chambers, has hit out at what she says is the government's failure to approve a much-needed extension to the emergency department at Mayo University Hospital.
Chambers stated: "We are currently eight years waiting for this much-needed extension to our emergency department at Mayo University Hospital and we still won't have it for this winter. The applied for modular unit would provide 12-20 additional beds at the emergency department and significantly reduce pressure and the numbers of patients waiting on trollies. The hospital has made the case time and time again that this is something we really need.
"We can all remember what last winter was like when the emergency department was so overcrowded that patients were spilling out of the waiting room and into the cafe in the foyer. This is what we are facing into again without this additional space. Our emergency department was initially built to cater for 20,000 people annually, last years it saw over 38,000 patients, almost double its intended capacity.
"In a recent parliamentary question I raised this issue and was told: 'The Health Service Executive's National Capital & Property Steering Group is currently considering an application for capital developments at the Emergency Department...The proposal for additional bed capacity has been included in the HSE Capital Plan 2019-2021 and it is anticipated that the ED development will be undertaken as part of this project.' Given this application was made eight years ago it is incredible that the HSE are still "considering" the application. There is no excuse for this continued delay. What is being sought would cost relatively small money when you consider the annual health service budget is in excess of €17 billion, but it would make a massive difference to the hospital, its patients and staff. I have written to the Minister for Health, Simon Harris, to request that he immediately directs the HSE to progress this project without any further delay."