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Doctors complain of “crisis” at Irish hospital

Doctors in a major Irish hospital say that facilities in almost all departments are about to collapse, reported the Irish Independent.

Senior medics at Kerry General, Munster’s second biggest hospital with 274 beds, held a public meeting at council office last Sunday night to discuss serious problems at the hospital.

According to the Irish Independent:

Doctors at the meeting said that patients were waiting up to five months for critical cancer tests.

A 24-bed ward, refurbished recently at the cost of €629,000 is closed because of a shortage of nurses.

The accident and emergency department of the hospital, with only seven doctors and 26 nurses, dealt with 35,000 patients in 2007; Dublin’s St Vincent’s hospital treated 27,000 people in the same period with 26 doctors and 100 nurses.

The meeting also revealed that Kerry General has no full-time consultant cardiologist, despite having the highest rates of coronary disease of any European region.

A senior obstetrician said that a promised dedicated maternity was not forthcoming, despite there having been 1,850 deliveries in the hospital in 2007, a 70% increase over seven years.

“We are in crisis”, said radiologist Dr Eamonn Bannan.

The Irish Health Service Executive declined to attend the meeting.

Health Service Executive

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“Europe has to be a community by all means. That includes the  medical field. And when there are situations like this there should be an European organisation to ‘redistribute’ at least temporarily, till the crisis is over, the medical staff from other countries. A list of such ‘crisis situation staff’ available to remote to places for a period of time, could be organised to to help European cities to come out of such healthcare crises.” – Filip Marius-Octavian, MD, former European Integration Advisor for the Romanian Ministry of Health