Galway hospitals extend deferral of surgeries and outpatient clinics

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Restrictions on face to face outpatient clinics and non-essential surgery in Galway’s hospitals have been renewed due to the ongoing pressure caused by the third wave of COVID-19.

In early January all but very urgent and time critical inpatient and day surgery, and outpatient clinics were curtailed in Galway University Hospitals and Portiuncula University Hospital, initially for a period of two weeks.

This very due significant pressure in the hospitals caused by COVID-19 and high community infection rates.

The Saolta Hospital Group has today said that these deferrals are now being extended for a further two week period, and will be kept under review.

Some outpatient clinics will continue to take place virtually during this period, unless it is essential that the patient be seen in person.

Patients whose appointments are being deferred due to these restrictions will be contacted by the hospital directly.

Though daily cases, both in Galway and Ireland as a whole, have come down significantly since spiralling out of control around the Christmas period, hospital figures have only started to decrease.

As of 8pm on Monday there were 115 people hospitalised with COVID-19 in Galway, of whom 21 were in Intensive Care.

A spokesperson for the Saolta Group said, “We understand that these deferrals may be disappointing and frustrating for patients but this is an important measure to enable the hospital to maintain critical and emergency services.

“There are many very sick people in our hospitals at the moment and the impact of a surge of cases in the community will be reflected in new admissions over the coming days.

“Visiting restrictions remain in place at the hospital. Members of the public should not visit the hospital except on compassionate grounds and these visits must be arranged in advance with the nurse manager on the ward.”

“The hospitals continue to be extremely busy, the public are reminded to only attend the Emergency Department in case of emergencies. Please contact your GP during normal surgery hours or the Westdoc GP out of hours service if your health problem is not an emergency.”