Minister Reilly in Mallow to open new units at hospital
HEALTH Minister James Reilly was in Mallow last Friday to officially open the new endoscopy and medical assessment units at the Mallow General Hospital.
The two units, part of a €4.5 million capital investment at the MGH, opened late last year and are housed in a two-storey purpose built extension with the assessment unit on the ground floor.
The eight-bed Medical Assessment Unit (MAU) is open seven days a week fro 8am to 8pm and treats patients referred by their GP and Southdoc for complaints including breathlessness, chest pain and blackouts.
Patients referred to the MAU will be seen by a senior doctor who has ready access to diagnostics such as x-rays, blood tests and scans within an hour of arrival.
The endoscopy unit allows for an increase of up to 1,000 scopes annually by increasing the number of sessions from five to eight each week.
In addition to staff based at Mallow General, visiting clinicians from the Cork University Hospital including gastroenterologists and surgeons, provide out-reach endoscopy services in the suite. Further development in the area of bronchoscopy (respiratory medicine) is due to commence shortly.
Since 2012 pre-hospital emergency services at MGH have all been enhanced with the establishment of an advanced paramedic service for North Cork and the basing of an intermediate care vehicle in Mallow.
There has also been an 8.5% increase in surgical day case patients at the MGH with the number of medical day care patients increasing by 46% over past two months.
Nursing director at the MGH, Mary Owens, said the changes introduced at the hospital ensured patients receive "quality care" in the most appropriate setting.
"During its first year in operation, the Medical Assessment Unit has treated an average of 75 new patients weekly which amounts to over 4,000 new patients and 1,000 return patients annually," said Ms Owens.
"More than 2,000 endoscopy procedures were performed at Mallow General Hospital in 2013. We anticipate that this figure will increase by 50% over the next 12 months," she added.