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Tag Archives: Health Minister Simon Harris

Waiting lists soar by 40% due to “catastrophic” Covid-19 impact

THE “catastrophic” impact of Covid-19 on Mid-West health services came sharply into focus this week with confirmation the number of public inpatients waiting for treatment has soared by almost 40%. New figures published by the National Purchase Treatment Fund have revealed the number of public inpatients waiting for treatment jumped by almost 40% from 4,798 on January 30 to 6,676 on October 30. This includes 2,266 inpatients waiting for treatment at University Hospital Limerick (UHL) and 621 in Ennis Hospital. The numbers on the outpatient list also grew by 16% from 47,184 in January to 54,759 in October. There are 42,777 outpatients in UHL, 7,235 in Croom, 2,026 in Ennis, 1,296 in Nenagh and 1,425 in St John’s Hospital waiting for treatment. Deputy Michael McNamara described the increase as “alarming but not surprising” in view of the cancellation of elective surgery. “I raised the issue of health services with the HSE and with former Health Minister Simon Harris in the …

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Hospital Doesn’t Confirm Opening Date for €19.5 Million 60-bed Unit

THE UL Hospitals’ Group hasn’t announced a definite opening date for the long-awaited €19.5 million 60-bed ward block at the University Hospital Limerick (UHL), despite a pledge for a government minister it is expected to be in operation by Monday, November 9. A new 60-bed ward modular unit was established to provide a rapid build interim solution to begin to address the bed capacity issue at UHL in response to the National Capacity Review by the Department of Health. The four-storey ward block will provide an additional 60 beds for the hospital, all single patient rooms with ensuites. Additional single rooms will help to improve patient comfort, safety, privacy and dignity and assist with the management of infection control in the hospital. Overcrowding has continued to be a major problem for Clare patients at the hospital, which regularly has the highest number of patients in the country waiting on trolleys. Responding to Clare Champion queries after this issue was raised …

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Dr Harty questions free GP care extension

PROVIDING free care to children who tend to be the healthiest in the population in preference to the most vulnerable makes no clinical or economic sense, according to a local doctor. Dr Michael Harty has questioned a recent government decision, which provides GP care without fees to six and seven year-olds and the basis for further phased extension of GP care without fees to all children 12 years in the coming years. The new bill also provides for the implementation of an increase in the weekly gross medical card income limits for those aged 70 or older to €550 for individuals and €1,050 for couples. Dr Harty has pointed out there is no evidence that the general health of patients under six years have had substantial health benefit from being provided with free GP care. Public health initiatives regarding health diet, exercise and weight control are best delivered through education, public health measures and media campaigns. The former chairman of …

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Kilrush man seek access to new CF drug

THIRTY-two-year-old Robert Cook from Kilrush faces an every-day battle with cystic fibrosis. He lives in the West Clare town with his wife Sandra and their two children and, on the surface, everything appears normal. “We are an ordinary family that do the day-to-day things all families do. But the difference between my family and most is that I was born with an inherited life-threatening genetic disease. Cystic fibrosis affects the lungs, pancreas and most other organs in the body. The lungs are affected the most. Cystic fibrosis is a thick green mucus, which is produced in the lungs, making it harder to breath and also is a breeding ground for lung infections and inflammation,” Robert explained. Every morning, Robert has to use a nebuliser before trying to get on with his day. “My daily routine before I have breakfast or even a cup of tea involves having a number of nebulisers to work through, to help my lungs and the …

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