Home » Tag Archives: Clare Deputy Michael McNamara

Tag Archives: Clare Deputy Michael McNamara

Clare deputy pulls up minister over fining of priest

DEPUTY Michael McNamara has challenged Health Minister Stephen Donnelly over his previous commitment that no penalties would be imposed for conducting religious services during the Covid-19 pandemic. Fr PJ Hughes, parish priest of Mullahoran and Loughduff in Co Cavan, has already received a €500 fine following a Sunday Mass he celebrated on March 7th last in Mullahoran. Speaking in the Dáil recently, Deputy McNamara asked what does it mean when the minister says something in this House? “If a Minister says something in a parliamentary democracy, we assume it to be true, if words have meaning. To borrow a quote, it is a beautiful thing, the destruction of words. What does the Minister mean when he says that 80% of people will be offered a vaccine by the end of June?” The Independent Deputy asked this question in view of a statement made by Minister Donnelly on October 22 during a debate on the Health Amendment Bill. “I assure the …

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Capacity Set To Double At Ennis Hospital MAU

A RECRUITMENT process for new staff and the expansion of the Medical Assessment Unit (MAU) in Ennis Hospital is underway, according to Deputy Michael McNamara. The Clare Independent TD, who has pressed the HSE and Government on the need to increase services at Ennis Hospital since last year’s election, said a non-consultant hospital doctor and a clerical staff member are already in post, creating an additional four slots at the MAU. “Additional resources in nursing, allied health and general support staff are now at various stages of on an ongoing recruitment process. Once these personnel are in place the HSE will increase the number of weekly slots in the MAU by a further 28 slots,” stated Deputy McNamara. “The expansion provides considerable benefits for the people of Clare while it also will help to alleviate pressure on admissions to University Hospital Limerick, something, which I have repeatedly highlighted during the past year.” “The CEO of the UL Hospitals’ Group has …

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Works Starts On €2 Million Extension Of Raheen Hospital

WORK has started on phase two of a €2 million extension of a unit in Raheen Community Hospital, the Mid-West HSE has confirmed.   The latest extension consists of the provision of a new build ward extension, which will provide HIQA compliant accommodation to seven residents in the existing Community Nursing Unit at Raheen. Following Public Works Restricted Procurement procedure, a contract was awarded to Custy Construction in March and the works have commenced on site. These major works will be carried out in two phases. Phase one consists of the construction of new plant room and services compound and partial demolition of existing stores building to allow for the connection and commissioning of the new services to the existing building. The second phase, which is programmed to start in July 2021, will be the demolition of the remainder of the stores building followed by the construction of the bedroom block. The construction duration is about 12 months to be followed …

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Concern Over Impact Of Lockdown On Mental Health

DEPUTY Michael McNamara has criticised the lack of comprehensive information on self-harm presentations and suicide in Ireland during the current “oppressive” lockdown. The East Clare deputy has described the lack of empirical evidence on the impact of the lockdowns for people with mental health difficulties as an insult to these patients. The Independent deputy has expressed frustration about receiving self-harm information from only 24 out of 36 acute hospitals who are collecting this data. Speaking in the Dáil recently, Deputy McNamara stated nothing visibly has happened since he raised this issue recently. Acknowledging Minister of State, Mary Butler is working hard behind the scenes to advance mental health issues, he stressed everyone is living in an “incredibly oppressive society at present”. “The feeling is entirely oppressive and it is largely driven by elements in the media. I questioned whether there was sufficient coverage of mental health and I was attacked by some public health doctors for doing that and told …

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Deputy McNamara Seeks Opening Date For 60-bed Block

CONCERN has been expressed about the lack of a definitive opening date for a new €19.5 million 60- bed block modular unit to tackle overcrowding at University Hospital Limerick (UHL) after a government minister recently pledged it would be operational at this stage. Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, Mary Butler stated in the Seanad recently “from a construction perspective, the new ward block should be ready to be operational by Monday, November 9”. In fact, Minister Butler praised all those involved on their hard work and patience in seeing the much-needed additional capacity for University Hospital Limerick come to fruition. She also thanked Senator Martin Conway for his constructive approach as she was aware he had raised this issue many times. “The Government is committed to developing acute hospital services and infrastructure. University Hospital Limerick is an integral part of the University of Limerick hospital group, providing hospital services and care to the populations of Limerick, …

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Oireachtas members concerned over threat of nurses’s industrial action

FEARS have been expressed about the serious implications any strike at University Hospital Limerick will have on patient care following the decision of the INMO to ballot for industrial action. Deputy Michael McNamara recalled there have been calls in recent months to reduce overcrowding in UHL and the need to increase medical facilities in smaller hospitals such as and Ennis and Nenagh Hospitals. The chairman of the Covid-19 Special Dáil Committee stressed the time for talking about these improvements was now over and it was time that action is taken to address serious shortcomings in UHL. If necessary, Deputy McNamara said Health Minister Stephen Donnelly should be asked to intervene to prevent the threatened strike. Deputy Violet Anne-Wynne called on Health Minister Donnelly to intervene in a bid to avert the threatened strike. She called for a recruitment campaign in UHL as staff like porters and cleaners are experiencing staff shortages. “I am shocked Minister Donnelly hasn’t stepped in already …

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Deputy McNamara seeks expanded role for Ennis Hospital

SERVICES need to be expanded in Ennis Hospital to reduce the possibility of a “car crash” scenario of massive overcrowding at University Hospital Limerick (UHL) next winter. That was the warning issued by Deputy Michael McNamara, who has asked Health Minister Simon Harris what measures is he putting in place to ensure acute patients who need to go to UHL attend the ED and those who can be treated in Ennis and Nenagh Hospitals are accommodated there. Deputy McNamara called for an expansion of services in Ennis Hospital to prevent chronic overcrowding in UHL next winter. “A huge escalation in the capability of Ennis to deal with the local injuries unit and the medical assessment unit as well as outpatient facilities is needed so that we do not have the overcrowding that looks almost inevitable now. It is like looking at a car crash from six months away. “University Hospital Limerick has been consistently the most overcrowded hospital in the …

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McNamara criticises uses of perspex for visitors in nursing homes

Independent Deputy Michael McNamara plans to raise the use of perspex to screen visitors from patients in residential care facilities with Health Minister Simon Harris. While Deputy McNamara accepts that precautions have to be taken to minimise the risk of spreading Covid-19 between patients and staff, he is concerned about the use of perspex in nursing home during visiting times. “You visit people in a prison through perspex. I am very concerned about this. People in nursing homes are not in some kind of prison or some type of a biblical leper colony. “The idea of seeing you loved ones through a perspex screen is not acceptable. I have no problem in accepting that Covid-19 poses a huge risk of nursing homes and precautions need to be taken. “As someone who spent a considerable length of time visiting someone very close to me in a nursing home up to quite recently this shocks and appals me,” he said. Gerry O’Malley …

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