The Limerick Mid West regional hospital is set to close its emergency department at night because of a shortage of doctors.
The hospital claims it is down to 50pc of its compliment of staff and will therefore be forced to close its accident and emergency service from 8pm to 8am from 1 July. Patients will instead be brought to hospitals in Cork or Galway.
The chairman of the hospital’s medical board, Dr Sandy Fraser, recently informed the HSE that patients attending A&E will not be admitted during night-time hours due to a chronic shortage of non-consultant hospital doctors. Dr Fraser said it would not longer be possible to maintain A&S services at the hospital 24 hours a day.
According to Dr Fraser, less than half of the positions required to staff the emergency department from 1 July have been filled at this stage.