LOCAL NEWS

Louth TD Imelda Munster has hit out at the HSE for axing a new X-ray room from a new extension at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda.

The Sinn Féin deputy has learnt that the facility was removed from the A&E refurbishment, leading to fears of increased waiting times.

Reacting to the news, Deputy Munster said more than 80% of patients needed X-rays and compared the plan to “building a house with no roof”.

She told The Irish Daily Mirror: “This is unbelievably myopic and incompetent.

“Patients are going to suffer with longer waiting times and it will put paid to the best practice targets for those requiring hip replacements and other surgeries. This decision must be reversed. It’s retrograde, bordering on ludicrous. If the extension is to cope with higher turnover, how is it supposed to do this without an additional X-ray room?

“I have written to the Minister for Health requesting an immediate reversal of this outrageous decision.”

It is understood the room in Our Lady of Lourdes is already built, but not kitted out.

The new facility was expected to cost around €1million, including the building itself and equipment.

Speaking in the Seanad today on the subject, Labour Senator Ged Nash said; “I worked hard during my own spell in government to get the resources for new beds and theatres for the Lourdes and the expansion of ED. This is on track.

“Part of the 9,000 square metre expansion involved the extension to ED.

“Now it appears that the newly expanded ED will have to make do with one existing x-ray room as a result of a unilateral, eleventh hour decision taken by the bean counters in the HSE.

“For €1million (only 5% of the overall project cost), the Lourdes ED would have a second, badly needed x-ray room in ED.

“Instead, the plan has been ditched. Without additional capacity in terms of diagnostics, more patients will be left waiting in ED and for longer, with hard working staff set to be out under even more pressure as patient numbers escalate.

“This decision is outrageous and it needs to be reversed immediately. Now is the time to do the job as it will be virtually impossible to ‘retrofit’ an x-ray room into the facility once the building becomes fully operational.”