Galway private hospitals should be utilised before agreement runs out

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Private hospitals should be utilised to carry out procedures before July when the agreement between the HSE and these hospitals runs out.

That’s according to Galway West TD Mairéad Farrell, who called for Bon Secours Hospital Galway and the Galway Clinic to be used to carry out cancer care, time-dependent surgery, and National Treatment Purchase Fund work.

Mairéad Farrell TD said that the contractual arrangement that the HSE have entered into with private hospitals has been a very good deal for private hospitals and bad deal for the taxpayer.

Unless the government starts maximising the use of these facilities, she says, then the deal will have been ‘a farce’.

“I fully understand the need for some capacity to be kept to deal with a potential COVID related surge, but there is significant unmet need in the number of non-COVID related cases and procedures, and these also have to be catered for.

“A surge is building of patients in need of care that is not COVID-19 related, and unless the government and the HSE start addressing this care, health difficulties will escalate and there will be fatalities,” said Deputy Farrell.

The arrangement is due to run out at the end of June, and Deputy Farrell said that there is a serious need for the two Galway hospitals to be put to maximum use before this time.

“These facilities need to be put to use immediately to reduce inpatient and outpatient waiting lists, specifically focusing on cancer care, time-dependent surgery, and National Treatment Purchase Fund work which these hospitals have previous experience of.

“We have only 6 weeks left to maximise the resources the State has purchased under this deal and unless we see immediate action then a bad deal will be made even worse,” added the Sinn Féin TD.