'One in ten beds in Portiuncula lost due to Covid-19' - Naughten

Local TD Denis Naughten has expressed concern about a serious reduction in the capacity of our hospitals, including the loss of one in ten beds in Ballinasloe's Portiuncula Hospital, due to Covid-19 measures.

The Drum native is the convener of the Regional Independent TDs group, which has secured a Dáil debate tomorrow (Wednesday) about what it describes as an impending bed crisis within our hospitals.

The decision to seek the debate follows concerns the group raised with TDs from all parties about the number of patients on trolleys, which had risen to over 100 across the hospital system, not just in Dublin hospitals but right across the country.

"As a result, the Health Minister Simon Harris will appear before Dáil Éireann tomorrow to explain what measures he is taking to address the reduction in capacity of our hospitals as a result of Covid-19," stated Denis Naughten.

"Since the start of June, we have seen a consistent figure of over 100 patients on trolleys across the country, which is as a direct result of changes to the bed reconfiguration in our hospitals as a result of Covid-19.

"As an example of the bed losses, Portiuncula Hospital in Ballinasloe has lost one in every 10 of its beds as a direct result of measures to reduce the risk of infection from Covid-19, and we need to see direct and immediate action from the HSE to address these problems.

"There are interim measures that can be taken in every hospital across the country and I hope that Minister Harris can outline the steps which he is now taking to make this happen. This must also include the use of smaller hospitals to take the pressure off the bigger acute hospitals," concluded Deputy Naughten.

The Regional Independents group consists of TDs: Cathal Berry, Sean Canney, Peter Fitzpatrick, Noel Grealish, Michael Lowry, Verona Murphy, Denis Naughten and and Matt Shanahan.