LABOUR’S Cllr Virginia O’Dowd and Sinn Fein’s Cllr Seamus Morris clashed at the February meeting of Nenagh Town Council over the status of Nenagh Hospital. Cllr O’Dowd pointed out that while she delighted that Cllr Morris had removed the words “defunct hospital” in relation to a motion at the January meeting regarding the health services in the Mid-West, she said “we all need to talk up the hospital”.
“We need to get away from the negative statements,” she said.
Cllr O’Dowd pointed out that the hospital still had 51 beds, 220 staff, operating theatres and an endoscopy unit.
“We should use every opportunity to talk it up,” she said, adding that the hospital was used recently to take care of patients that were moved out from Limerick.
However, Cllr Morris replied: “Before the election everyone was jumping up and saying 24-hour A&E would be coming back. Now everything has moved to Limerick. It is disgusting for Labour to come in here and try and have a go at me and attempt to say Nenagh is a functioning hospital.”
He said the HSE was talking about having a “seamless campus”, but the reality was that there were 66 people on trolleys over the weekend.
“The latest trick is to send them out to Nenagh. They are sending people to Limerick to lie on trolleys only to be sent back out to Nenagh,” said Cllr Morris.
He stated that attempts to say he was “talking down people working in Nenagh couldn’t be further from the truth. They have to work in a dysfunctional system.
“I don’t come in here to try and run down anyone working in the health system.”
Cllr Morris said it was “time the HSE got down off their high horse and say they made a hames of it”.
Meanwhile, the HSE told the Tipperary Star this Tuesday that no patients had been moved from the Mid-Western Hospital in Limerick to Nenagh because of people being on trolleys.
Cllr Morris told the Tipperary Star via text that there were 66 people on trolleys in the Mid-West area on Friday and Monday, a figure confirmed on Trolley Watch. There were 24 people on trolleys in Limerick on Tuesday, with five more in Ennis.
However, the HSE, in a statement to the Star in relation to patients being moved to Nenagh, said: “The answer is no. However, please note that three patients were transferred from the Medical Assessment Unit in Dooradoyle yesterday (Monday) to Nenagh and one patient was transferred from a ward in Limerick to Nenagh today (Tuesday). The Mid Western Regional Hospitals Group is now one single acute hospital system operating across six sites with one chief executive, one lead clinical director, one budget, and clinical directorates, medicine, peri-operative, diagnostics and maternal and child health spanning all the locations.”