Deputy Connolly welcomes confirmation of Minister Harris’ visit to UHG on Monday.
It is vitally important that he confirms that funding will be made immediately available for the upgrading of the new Accident and Emergency and that the recruitment of the necessary front line staff is given priority.
Equally important however is that he give the go ahead for the planning of a new hospital at Merlin Park. The need for a new hospital has been clearly articulated by the Clinical Director of the hospital and by senior management in a written submission to the Minister in mid-December. Indeed they have pointed out that not alone is the Accident and Emergency not fit-for-purpose but that the hospital itself is not fit for purpose. In this regard it has been repeatedly pointed out that the lack of capacity in the hospital is number one on the risk register.
Furthermore the Minister should avail of the opportunity to visit the facility from which the ambulance service works at Merlin Park. These facilities were to be for an interim three month period and almost three years later the ambulance team is working in unsuitable and unsafe conditions.
All of these three issues have been repeatedly raised by Deputy Connolly in the Dáil and in response the Minister confirmed that he would be visiting Galway and would address these issues.