23 May 2022

ICU expansion demand made to health minister for Portlaoise hospital

Sinn Féin TD calls on Stephen Donnellly to act

coronavirus covid-19

Portlaoise hospital ICU staff in PPE at the Covid-19 coalface

Vital intensive care services must be expanded on a permanent bases at Portlaoise hospital and its sister facility in Tullamore according to Sinn Féin TD Brian Stanley.

Speaking in the Dáil during a debate on measures needed to deal with the Covid crisis, the Laois Offaly TD made a direct appeal to Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly. He said there are just six beds between the two hospitals and two of these are located in Portlaoise.

He insisted that the public want solutions for quicker and decisive action to address the Covid-19 surge.

“On healthcare facilities and hospitals, I am aware we came into this crisis with under capacity, with less than half the ICU beds needed. That is accepted now. However, we have had more than 18 months to respond to this. I know the capacity cannot be magically increased as specially trained staff are needed, and it is not as simple as just putting a bed into a room, but we must try to improve ICU capacity. We have hundreds of people on trolleys. We have that every winter. We knew this was coming and the capacity issues are nothing new.

“I highlight to the Minister that in Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise there are only two permanent ICU beds. There are four in Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore. If you do the maths, with the population ratio of the region, it is way under what is required. I ask the Minister to look at increasing the capacity in Portlaoise and Tullamore hospitals as we move ahead,’’ he said.

The Sinn Féin TD said his party would spend to create  600 extra acute beds, 34 ICU beds and 194 specialist beds around Ireland. He said this would involved 2,500 staff. He said the Government plan for 19 ICU beds is welcome must go further than that. 

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