Louth County Councillor Tomás Sharkey has called on Minister varadkar to use his coming visit to Louth County Hospital to learn how and why services need to be restored to that hospital. Councillor Sharkey has learned that Minister varadkar will be in Louth County Hospital on Wednesday 20th. he has requested that, as a member of the HSE’s Regional Health Forum, he and other local representatives be afforded the opportunity to meet the minister.
“Minister Varadkar is welcome to visit Louth County Hospital. As Minister for Health he should make himself aware first hand of all issues in the hospital service. He will visit a newly opened ward of medical beds. I welcomed the plans for this ward some months ago.
“However, Minister Varadkar needs to educate himself of the fact that Louth County Hospital housed an A&E, Intensive Care Unit and Acute Medical wards less than six years ago. He must learn that the crisis in Our Lady of Lourdes is a direct result of the closure of services in Dundalk.
“I want to explain to Minister Varadkar that the small medical ward he will see is no comparison to the 100+ beds that are no longer there. As one of Louth’s representatives on the Regional Health Forum, I want to explain that our Minor Injuries Unit can go to a full 24/7 service and also support a Medical Assessment Unit. These measures will help us plan the reinstatement of full services in Dundalk and bring an end to the crisis in Our Lady of Lourdes.
“The RCSI Hospital Group has informed me that there is not enough space in he hospital building for me, as a public representative on the HSE Forum to attend the Minister’s visit. That is an outrageous cop-out and snub to the public in Louth and especially Dundalk.
“We know that hospital staff are being asked to have their dinner breaks by mid-day to allow for a reception of the Minister in the hospital canteen. I wonder does Minister Varadkar realise that nurses on long shifts will have their daily routine and tat of patients disturbed? I also challenge Minister Varadkar to instruct the RCSI Hospital Group to invite myself and the other Louth representatives on the HSE Regional Health Forum to this event.
Councillor Tomás Sharkey is reminding people to use the Minor Injuries Unit in Louth County Hospital and avoid the wait in Drogheda A&E.
Cllr Sharkey said, “Although we are in the height of summer the trolley crisis continues in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital. It is important to remember that the Minor Injuries Unit in Dundalk is open from 9am until 8pm each day. Of course we want an A&E service in Dundalk and I will continue to lobby for more services.
“In the meantime, people should be aware that the MIU is open, has a very short waiting time and the unit is spotless and well staffed. During the summer people are playing more sports and generally more active so there is a greater risk of a minor injury.
“I appeal to people to avoid the Lourdes A&E and use Dundalk hospital where possible instead”.
LCH MIU treats the following conditions for patients over the age of 14 years:
- Suspected broken bones to legs from knees to toes.
- Suspected broken bones to arms from collar bone to finger tips.
- All sprains and strains
- Facial injuries
- Eye injuries
- Minor scalds and burns
- Wounds, bites, cuts, grazes and scalp lacerations
- Splinters and fish hoots.
- Foreign bodies in eyes/ ears / nose.
- Minor chest injuries.
Sinn Féin Louth County Councillor and member of the Regional Health Forum Tomás Sharkey has given a guarded welcome to the information he has received from Margaret Swords, Group Manager – Louth /Meath Hospital Group in relation to the CAWT Ophthalmology project at Louth County Hospital.
Cllr Sharkey has said “Following representations from constituents who are awaiting cataract surgery I once again contacted Margaret Swords, Louth/Meath Hospital Group Manager, for an update on the provision of long promised Ophthalmology services at Louth County Hospital.
“I am giving a guarded welcome to the news in her response that Cataract and other Eye Surgery in Louth County Hospital will commence this month (September). The Ophthalmology service is a cross border initiative supported by CAWT. There are many people, especially older people, who, I hope, will benefit greatly from this service at their local hospital now that staff and equipment are in place”