A Tullamore councillor has claimed that all non-emergency orthopaedic activity at Tullamore hospital has ceased due to staff shortages.
Cllr Brendan Killeavy, in a statement today, said he was extremely disappointed to learn of the move, which he said was as a result of insufficient nursing levels to cover core rosters and the inability of agencies to provide cover.
He also said that the special Acute Medical Assessment Unit, opened last year to help alleviate delays in the emergency department, has also closed and will be coverted to an inpatient medical ward.
Cllr Killeavy said all of this would mean "extra pressure on the Emergency Department with longer stays for patients".
"The people waiting on Orthopaedic operations such as knee and hip surgery will now have to wait longer in pain as the current waiting lists will be extended," he said.