Midland Regional hospitals, Portlaoise and Tullamore along with Naas General hospital, St James’s hospital, the Coombe and Tallaght hospital will form the Dublin Midlands hospital group under the new hospital groups and small hospitals framework.
The aim is for the grouping of these hospitals is to enable each hospital to specialise in certain procedures. This should improve the efficiency of the hospitals and result in reductions in waiting lists and trolley numbers.
In the future, staff will be recruited to the Dublin Midlands Hospital group rather than to individual hospitals. This should ensure that patients in Offaly will have access to world class medical staff and will enable a reduction in the hours that junior doctors work. This will improve patient safety at MRH Tullamore.
Commenting on the announcement, Laois/Offaly Fine Gael TD Marcella Corcoran Kennedy noted that when elected, the Government received a mandate to radically reform the health service and to put the patient at the centre of all health reforms.
She added, “Healthcare reform is a difficult talks, particularly in this financial environment. The public has heard promises before and been disappointed. But, this government is working hard to continue its progress in hospital reform, in reducing trolley waits and with consultants now seeing, treating and discharging patients on a 24/7 basis.
“The establishment of Hospitals groups is the next major milestone on the path to Universal Health Insurance as set out in Minister James Reilly’s plan, ‘Future Health’.”
She continued, “Hospitals groups, with the large and small hospitals working together, will provide more freedom to medical and nursing staff to deliver for their patients. We have some of the best healthcare professionals in the world in this country. They know better than anyone else that the status quo can’t continue. We have to change to meet the needs and expectations of patients and their families.
“This Government is acutely aware of the challenge that faces us in terms of health reform. It will not be done overnight. It’s a complex and major undertaking that requires careful planning and sequencing. It will take time, patience, diligence and determination,” she concluded.