Just five A&Es have full team next month
Published 17/06/2011 | 05:00
Just five hospital emergency departments will have a full team of medics from next month, senior doctors warned yesterday.
A survey carried out by emergency doctors revealed that there will be a 25pc shortage of doctors in A&Es from July 11, leaving some hospitals with no choice but to cut down on opening hours.
"The other 27 hospital emergency departments will have significant shortages," warned Dr John McInerney, of the Irish Association of Emergency Medicine.
Hospitals which will be under particular pressure include University College Hospital in Galway; Limerick Regional; Roscommon Hospital; Portlaoise Hospital; St James's Hospital in Dublin; and Cork University Hospital.
"Most alarming is the one-in-three shortfall in experienced middle grade doctors (registrars) who contribute essential senior decision-making support on a 24/7 basis," Dr McInerney said.
The doctors said it was essential the HSE improved its current "ineffective recruitment processes" and actively worked with the Medical Council to speed up the registration of much-needed medics from abroad.
The call came as it emerged that a record 52 patients were on trolleys in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda yesterday morning. And nurses in Cavan General Hospital are being balloted for industrial action in protest at continuing overcrowding.