01 Jul 2022

A&E future is missing link in Portlaoise hospital expansion plan


Portlaoise Hospital Action Committee Light for Lives protest in December 2017. Picture: Denis Byrne

Expansion plans for Portlaoise hospital are welcome but 'firm' commitments to the hospital's Emergency Department (ED / A&E) and recruitment are crucial to its future, according Laois Offaly TD Brian Stanley.

The Sinn Féin TD welcomed the application for planning permission to the Laois County Council for what he termed significant extension to the Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise.

“The proposed extension to the Portlaoise Paediatric Unit is badly needed along with the construction of a new Respiratory Assessment Unit.

"Hospital management have made a strong case over the last two years for these badly needed facilities, and I have made representations in support of them," he said.

Dep Stanley said the the proposed respiratory unit will add significantly to the space for emergency care at the hospital, as the existing ED suffers from a "chronic shortage of capacity.

“However, what’s missing,  is a firm commitment from the Government to ensure that long-term 24/7 ED Services at Portlaoise Hospital are secure into the future. This is crucial to Laois and the Midlands region.

"We also need a firm commitment for the recruitment of badly needed permanent Consultants in emergency care at the Hospital,” he said.

A report published by the HSE in 2017 proposed the downgrade of the Laois hospital with the removal of A&E, ICU, surgery, paediatrics and maternity servies.

The report has not been officially abandoned.

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