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Mid-West Hospitals campaign representative Noeleen Moran speaking during a previous Mid-West March For Proper Healthcare. Photograph by John Kelly

Clare people urged to join UHL protest march this Saturday

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CLARE people have been urged to attend a protest march in Limerick to highlight the impact of persistent overcrowding in University Hospital Limerick (UHL) on January 21.

Noeleen Moran of the Mid West Hospital Campaign has requested Clare sporting organisations, community groups and individuals to attend this demonstration, which starts at Merchant’s Quay at 11am.

“We need a strong Clare presence at this march to get our message across that 24-hour casualty cover needs to be returned to Ennis and Nenagh Hospitals.”

She believes the recent HSE acknowledgement about the danger posed by overcrowding is a direct result of the work of campaigners such as Marie McMahon from Ennistymon among others.

“For 82 patients that are left on a trolley for six to eight hours, there is at least one fatality. This increases with the number of hours patients are left waiting. There were at least 77 days when there were more than 82 patients on trolleys in UHL in 2022, according to the INMO Trolley Watch.

“Day surgeries at Ennis have been cancelled to support the introduction of this new ambulance protocol, but surgeries will have to resume and then what? Will there still be available spaces for patients? If Ennis is to play its part in alleviating overcrowding at UHL additional resources must follow.

“Some politicians across the region have issued statements on the chaos and the ambulance U- turn but others have remained silent. None of them have acknowledged that the decisions made by Government have cost many lives.

“There has however been an acknowledgement from the Interim CEO of the HSE Stephen Mulvany, Dr Colm Henry Chief Clinical Officer HSE, and Dr Peader Gilligan, Consultant Beaumont Hospital that people have died as a direct result of lying on trolleys, or stuck in chairs in Emergency Departments.

“This has been stated by this Campaign numerous times in the past,” she said.

The HSE’s chief clinical officer Dr Colm Henry stated, “There’s a clear association with mortality with delayed admission to the ward. Whether it’s directly attributable to that, or associated because these people are already sick, with pneumonia or heart attacks or strokes or other problems, is difficult to say.

“But I’ve no problem saying that yes, delays in presentation to the ward are associated, we know, with increased mortality, and even more so, people coming to emergency departments who are delayed being seen is certainly very unsafe.”

The main organiser of the march in Limerick is hospital campaigner, Mike Daly and the Mid-West Hospital Campaign has decided to support his efforts.

Hospital campaign groups throughout the country will participate in a National Day of Action on ED Overcrowding on January 21.

A free bus to transport Clare people to the march from the Temple Gate Hotel, Ennis, has been organised by the Women’s Collective Ireland Clare, the Clare Public Participation Network and the Clare Traveller Community Development Project.

Anyone who wishes to travel on this bus can contact the Mid-West Hospital Campaign on its Facebook page.

Ms Moran participated in a recent meeting of the National Hospitals Campaign, which seeks to mobilise people across the island to demand an end to capacity cuts in the health service.

Representatives from hospital campaigns from Navan, Drogheda, Daily Hill, Newry, Monaghan, Cavan, Causeway Coast, Colraine, Letterkenny, Mayo General, Mullingar and the Midwest met to organize the National Hospitals Campaign Day of Action on January 21.

Ms Moran acknowledged that Professor Declan Lyons has helped changed the narrative on expecting UHL to cope with all emergency admissions.

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