Two of Minister Alan Kelly’s key local health requests have been delivered in the 2013 HSE service plan. Following months of intensive discussion and lobbying funding for ten beds for the Hospital of the Assumption in Thurles are now being provided for while a similar request for intermediate transfer vehicles to ease pressure on Mid-West Hospitals has also been delivered, he said.
‘For some time I have been fighting to get beds reopened in the Hospital of the Assumption in Thurles. This has involved many hours of discussion and lobbying and I was delighted to be informed last week that funding for 10 beds were to be provided annually at a cost of €500,000 and 10/11 new positions were going to be created. This is something I had worked long and hard for, having spoken and written to Minister’s Reilly and Lynch on many occasions.
I have always been direct and honest with people in relation to the Hospital of the Assumption - it is the only way to do politics. I knew there was no provision to open new beds when that was announced as fact last October. I knew there would be no new beds opened within three weeks or by Christmas. I could never understand how anyone could suggest that there would. I worked last year to make sure we got an extra €250,000 to provide extra respite beds to those most in need across the county. Minister Kathleen Lynch met the Hospital Action Committee prior to announcing this funding.
Furthermore, when Minister James Reilly came to meet me in October, I made a request for intermediate patient transfer vehicles throughout the Mid West and in particular between Nenagh and Limerick. These vehicles are needed to transfer non emergency patients between Limerick and Nenagh hospitals. This will allow greater and more timely movement of non emergency patients between the hospitals thereby helping to alleviate pressure in particular on Limerick Regional Hospital. Furthermore, it will free up ambulances and facilitate patients from North Tipperary to get back to Nenagh Hospital for after care following acute procedures in Limerick, where they will be closer to their loved ones. I am delighted that 7 new positions for intermediate care personnel are provided for in the 2013 Service Plan and that these services will come on stream later in the year.