Fianna Fáil Senator Eugene Murphy says major difficulties in the health service which have “built up over years” are slowly being rectified.
“The Government, under the stewardship of Minister Stephen Donnelly, have put 1,000 new hospital beds in place, over 350 community beds, and extra ICU beds. There have been over 16,000 new staff put in place, with 4,500 nurses and midwives included in that figure.
“The Minister is moving swiftly to implement new consultants’ contracts and it should get the green light within weeks, even though I acknowledge consultants still seem to have some reservations. Some excellent work is taking place. We also have reductions in some hospital charges”.
Senator Murphy said that he had received a small number of representations from concerned families about possible delays facing cancer patients.
“It seems that after being referred, the patient can be waiting far too long. I intend to speak to Minister Donnelly about this, but also I have to say in some cases people do not have to wait very long to get a further call. We need to cut out any unnecessary delays, particularly for cancer patients”.
Senator Murphy welcomed confirmation that some non-urgent patients can be transferred to Roscommon University Hospital.
He added that this does not mean Roscommon A&E is reopening (“closing it was a mistake, and we know who was responsible for that”).