Press Release

Statement by Minister for Health Children, Mary Harney, T.D. – Progress on A&E

The Minister for Health and Children, Mary Harney TD, today acknowledged that the INO analysis of A&E services shows significant improvements on this time last year. She wishes to see this progress sustained and expanded as winter approaches.

The Minister praised the work of the HSE and all staff in the 35 A&E departments around the country who are working to provide a better service to over 3,300 patients a day.

“Fewer patients are waiting for admission, and waiting times are also being reduced”.

The Minister said there are a small number of hospitals where problems persist and local solutions for each hospital will be implemented by the HSE.

“We are also continuing to invest in improved capacity for patients. For example,

  • In Letterkenny, a 30 bed modular ward is under construction and is due to be completed in January 2007.
  • In Drogheda (Our Lady of Lourdes), the refurbishment of the intensive care unit has been completed and will create an additional 8 beds.
  • In Cork University Hospital, 10 new beds have now been provided for A&E admissions. An 8 bed admissions unit adjacent to the A&E Dept. of Mercy Hospital will be in place shortly and the new A&E Department for the hospital will be completed in the new year.
  • In Limerick, 10 new beds are now being provided for A&E admissions.
  • In Castlebar additional capacity for medical admissions will be in place by early 2007.

“There has also been a significant investment in long term care beds. So far this year, over 500 new beds have been acquired. We are continuing to acquire about 200 more beds from the private sector and within the public sector.”

“The investment made in new beds and A&E departments this year has also improved services to patients. The health capital investment programme and the co-location initiative are both aimed at delivering new public beds in acute hospitals.”