Deputy Seán Sherlock makes case for level 2 hospitals such as Mallow ‘doing the business’ to alleviate overcrowding at Cork University Hospital
A North Cork-based TD has once again put the case for Mallow General Hospital (MGH) to be used to ease the pressure on the overstretched emergency departments at Cork’s three emergency departments.
Cork East Labour TD Seán Sherlock said that Level 2 hospitals such as the MGH are an “untapped resource” that are well capable of “doing the business needed to alleviate overcrowding at the Cork University hospital.”
His comments have come as figures compiled by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) revealed there were 79 patients on trolleys waiting for treatment at Cork hospitals on Tuesday morning.
Deputy Sherlock recently said he believed the over-dependence on tertiary hospitals such as the CUH to deal with everything was “proving futile” at a time when Level 2 facilities “could and should be triaging patients.”
Addressing the issue during a Dáil debate on hospital capacity, Deputy Sherlock invited health minister Stephen Donnelly to visit the MGH and see at first hand its extensive range of facilities.
He said Minister Donnelly had spoken about capital expenditure and ‘turning bricks and mortar into wards’, pointing out that MGH has a new 42-bed unit that is all but completed, reiterating a call for the works to be fast-tracked.
“The MGH is operating excellently. It provides a great deal of elective care for people and is excellent in diagnostics. Many people could be triaged on an out of hours basis and then directed to hospitals like Mallow,” said Deputy Sherlock.
He said that expediting the new unit at MGH would take also patients out of the hospitals such as the CUH and into Mallow General.
“The excellent staff on the ground (at the MGH) will do what the Minister has spoken about in terms of delivering the healthcare we need. That would alleviate the pressure on CUH and this can be done now. The bricks and mortar are there. I invite the Minister to visit Mallow to take a look at it for himself,” said Deputy Sherlock.
He said that while the writing was on the wall for Mallow’s A&E department a long time ago, much work has been done in terms of building out facilities there including the endoscopy suites, medical assessment & local injury units and an urgent care centre.
“ We now have a 42-bed unit and if the Minister will give us the money to put beds into it, we will do the business for him. That is what we want to do in Mallow,” said Deputy Sherlock.
He said completion of the new unit would not just serve the people of Mallow and North Cork, but would also serve a wider catchment area encompassing parts of Tipperary, Limerick and Waterford, easing the pressure on tertiary care centres such as the CUH.
“If we look at Mallow on the map, we will see it is in the heart of Munster. This is what we are taking about in terms of solutions,” said Deputy Sherlock.
“The Minister has the capability, wherewithal and means to do this because he is the Minister. If he could take a look at Mallow General Hospital specifically, we could do a job of work there,” he insisted.