Survival rates for emergency cases in the Mid West Region are among the lowest in the country due to closure of Accident and Emergency Departments in Nenagh and other smaller hospitals
Clare Independent General Election Candidate Ann Norton has described as “alarming” a new report showing that patient survival rates for emergency cases in the Mid West Region are among the lowest in the country due to closure of Accident and Emergency Departments in Nenagh and other smaller hospitals
Ms. Norton said the findings of the Siren Study, which compares patient admission and outcome figures for 2000-2006 and 2007-2012, suggests that if every County had the same death rate for emergency conditions as Dublin, up to one thousand lives could be saved per year.
She added that the findings demonstrated the risk of “death by geography”.
Ms. Norton acknowledged that while fatality rates have dropped nationally during the past 10 years, the “disparity between the regions remains significant.”
“Dublin has six emergency departments for a population of 1.2 million people. If the same model in place in the Midwest were used in Dublin there would only be three emergency Departments in the capital. This clearly highlights the uneven distribution of resources across Ireland and in particular, the Mid West,” said Norton.
Ms. Norton continued: “Excessive waiting times for ambulances and the requirement for all emergency cases to be taken to Limerick has been a likely cause of death in a number of cases in County Clare. The study, which has been funded by the Department of Health, backs up a sad reality that it is somewhat unique to this part of the country.
“We have heard from successive Governments about the reasoning behind the development of a Centre of Excellence in Limerick and while there is certainly some merit to the centralising of certain expertise and services, this newly released study clearly demonstrates that patient survival rates in the Mid West are significantly lower than those in the east of the country.
“This glaring disparity is likely to remain in place and potentially worsen as the overall population of the Mid West Region continues to rise. In Ennis, the population of the town and its immediate environs is projected to reach 35,000 within 5 years. Based on the current demand for services alone, University Hospital Limerick is not fit for purpose and evidently has not been sufficiently upgraded in the aftermath of the downgrading of Ennis and Nenagh General Hospitals.”
“There is a strong argument for the reinstatement of emergency services in Ennis and Nenagh, based on projected population increases, and the appropriate resourcing of University Hospital Limerick. Should this not take place, then the people of Clare