As preparations for Budget 2023 continue Sligo TD Marc MacSharry has revealed details of recent meetings with Health Minister Stephen Donnelly in which he has sought the urgent sanction of resources for the 30+ staff required to open four new Intensive Care Unit beds which have remained idle due to the HSE not sanctioning the required staff.
Deputy MacSharry said: “The management and broader team at Sligo University hospital has responded to the crisis nationally in the shortage of ICU beds by investing to provide 4 additional ICU beds.
“However, they have remained idle due to the unwillingness and ineptitude at decision making level within the higher echelons of the HSE who have ignored the availability of these much needed beds and reneged on the provision of the resources and sanction to recruit the 30 plus WTE’s required to bring them into use.
“When Minister Donnelly visited the hospital in the early summer he saw these new facilities with his own eyes and I told him then on the one hand we are screaming at the HSE for more ICU beds nationally and yet here we have four ready to go and no staff. Be it medical or administrative politics within the HSE we have ICU beds here and it’s time the HSE sanction the required finance to enable urgent recruitment,” said Mac Sharry.
“In a number of meetings and calls over the course of the last ten days I have told Minister Donnelly that he must ensure that the health budget struck in the coming days must include sanction for the 30 additional staff so that the four idle ICU beds come into use as a matter of urgency.
“There are many issues within our health service nationally however, management and staff at Sligo University Hospital have managed resources and capital extremely well to put the four additional ICU beds in place.
“It beggars belief that pencil pushers in an office somewhere have prevented the provision of the necessary sanction and resources to bring them into use given the chronic shortage of such facilities nationally.
“Following our meetings of the last week or so the minister is clear on what I require to form part of the health budget,” he said.