Health Minister to hold meeting on extra beds for Portiuncula Hospital

Galway Daily news Portiuncula Hospital new beds

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly will meet with Minister of State Anne Rabbitte next week in relation to bed capacity issues at Portiuncula Hospital in Ballinasloe.

Portiuncula Hospital has had to reduce its bed capacity in recent months due to COVID-19 protocols, which have reduced the number of people which can share a ward.

The HSE said earlier this month that it would create a temporary, modular outpatient unit for Portiuncula, to alleviate some of the pressure this has created/

This will allow the existing outpatient department to be converted into 14 single ensuite rooms to expand the main bed space of the hospital, which is still a work in progress.

Galway TD Denis Naughten said that despite the announcement of these plans, he had concerns that “these replacement beds will not be in place to cater for the huge additional pressure being placed on staff and patients at the hospital.”

Deputy Naughten added that he has received confirmation from Minister Rabbitte that she will meet with the Health Minister face-to-face next week to discuss the delivery of this modular ward.

“I have taken these concerns up with Minister Rabbitte and it is positive to see that a face-to-face meeting with regard to the hospital will now take place next week.”

Speaking in the Seanad this month, Senator Aisling Dolan had also highlighted the severe lack of space at Portiuncula, especially considering the population that it serves.

“For an area of 400,000 people, Portiuncula Hospital has only 13 single rooms. And I’m not talking about ICU beds, I’m talking about single rooms to keep people safe from infection.”