Surgeons were sent home early and surgeries were cancelled last week at Mayo General Hospital because of overcrowding in the emergency department, according to General Election candidate Lisa Chambers.
Cllr Chambers said that under new protocols, surgical beds were being used to take the overflow of emergency department patients. Speaking this week she said: "Mayo General is obliged, under an order signed by Minister Varadkar, to put certain procedures in place once overcrowding reaches certain levels. Twenty five per cent of inpatient general surgical beds and 60 per cent of day surgical beds are being used to cater for emergency overcrowding."
She continued: "This means that patients called in and prepared for surgery are sent home again because the beds are taken by A and E patients. To take away 60 per cent of day surgery beds is disastrous. Not alone does it create a huge backlog, but there is also the real danger of cross contamination when emergency patients share ward places with those recovering from surgery. The Castlebar emergency department, which was built to cater for 20,000, is now receiving in excess of 35,000, a figure which has been exacerbated by the closure of Roscommon A and E."