The new extension at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital.
An HSE decision to ditch longstanding plans to include an additional x-ray room in the newly expanded Emergency Department at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital has been met with outrage from local representatives.
Drogheda Senator Ged Nash has said that the decision will lead to more patients on trolleys at the busy A&E in Drogheda.
Speaking in the Seanad today, the Labour Senator 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.
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“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.”
Meanwhile, Sinn Féin TD TD Imelda Munster has also hit out at the move, she compared the plan to “building a house without a roof”.
“This is unbelievably myopic and incompetent” the Sinn Fein Deputy said. “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 the 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.”