ONCE new hospital staff have been recruited, the cat-scan facility in Portlaoise will operate on a 24-hour basis.
The news emerged at the recent meeting of Portlaoise Town Council, in response to a request from Cllr Caroline Dwane for the HSE to give a date on when the facility will be 24/7. Acting town clerk, Ms Elaine Moore told the meeting that correspondence has been sent to the HSE on the matter, but no response had yet been received by the council.
Welcoming the news that the cat-scan facility is set to be in operation full time, Cllr Dwane explained that at present, the cat-scan is only in operation between the hours of 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.
“Seven years ago, nobody was qualified to run the cat-scan and people had to be ferried across to Tullamore hospital,” she said. “Out of hours, people have to be admitted and they take up beds until the cat-scan is operating.”
Cllr Dwane said the new operating hours were a welcome announcement, especially considering all the cuts the county has experienced.
“This is a long burning issue for the council,” she said.
Her party colleague, Cllr Alan Hand said he welcomed the news that the cat-scan would soon be 24-hour, as the population increase of the county in recent years had made it a necessity.
Cllr Kathleen O’Brien informed the councillors that herself and Cllr Willie Aird had attended a recent health board meeting, where it was revealed that the HSE are just waiting for new staff to be recruited before the cat-scan goes 24/7.