• A 24 hour strike will take place at 38 hospitals and healthcare facilities across the country on June 20th.

    The action is being taken by hospital support workers in a row over pay increases linked to a job evaluation scheme.

    SIPTU claims the government has yet to honour commitments made under public sector agreements since 2010.

  • There are 44 patients on trolleys at University Hospital Galway today.

    That is the third highest figure in the country.

    University Hospital Limerick has 50 patients on trolleys snad Cork University Hospital 45.

    Elsewhere there are 28 patients on hospital trolleys at Sligo University Hospital today and 4 at Mayo University Hospital.

    Nationally there are 443 patients on hospital trolleys today.




  • A special investigation of data protection practices at 20 hospitals across the State has identified a catalogue of concerns - including sensitive patient records being left exposed in wards, and a lack of privacy when staff are speaking to patients.

    The investigation was carried out by the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner at hospitals across the country – including University Hospital Galway and Sligo University Hospital.

    It found evidence that computer terminals were being left unattended for long periods, leaving patient data visible, and that sensitive records were not being disposed of securely.

    Hospitals are being urged to use this report as a tool to enable them to spot the significant data processing security risks that may feature at their facilities on a daily basis.

    The investigation was carried out last year and examined practices in 20 HSE facilities, voluntary hospitals and private facilities – although the report does not outline specific issues at individual hospitals.

    The report sets out 76 recommendations aimed at mitigating the risks identified.

  • The total number of people on hospital waiting lists now stands at over 707,000, the highest number recorded.

    The latest figures issued by the National Treatment Purchase Fund are for last month, and are up by over 6,200 on the previous month.

    The hospital with the biggest outpatient waiting list is Galway University Hospital with over 39,000 people waiting for treatment - of a national total of almost 52,000.

    This means over 39,000 people referred by their GP are now waiting for treatment or an appointment with a consultant at UHG - with almost five and a half thousand of these patients waiting over a year and a half.

    There are over 8,300 people on the outpatient waiting list at Mayo University Hospital, with one in four of these patients waiting over 18 months.

    Sligo University Hospital has an outpatient waiting list of over 12,600 people, with 2848 waiting for procedures at Roscommon Hospital and 3646 at Portiuncla in Ballinasloe.

    In addition, almost ten and a half thousand people are waiting for inpatient or day surgery at University Hospital Galway, where the combined waiting lists now stand at almost 50,000.

    In a statement, Minister for Health Simon he recognises that the outpatient waiting list "remains a significant challenge" which he said the HSE and National Treatment Purchase Fund are working hard to address.

  • Hospital car parking charges could be capped at ten euro a day.

    The move is being considered by the Health Minister Simon Harris.

    Under the plans, discounted multi-day passes would also have to be introduced for relatives, guardians and friends who frequently visit patients in long term care.

    The Sunday Independent reports the abolition of car parking fees has been ruled out though.

  • Hospital consultants have warned that public hospitals are in a state of crisis.

    The IHCA has welcomed an interview from former HSE director general Tony O'Brien in the Sunday Business Post this morning.

    In it, he warns that the difficulty recruiting and retaining consultants is preventing the provision of care to patients.

    Tony O'Brien also says in the interview that it's "entirely possible" the number of people on trolleys this winter will hit one thousand.

    And he believes that without "significant moves", there's no doubt that there will be an "existential crisis" in hospital capacity.

  • Thousands of doctors working in public hospitals who are members of The Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) are to begin voting from today for strike action.

    The IMO says it’s seeking a mandate from its 3,500 consultant and non-consultant hospital doctor members for industrial action, up to and including withdrawal of services, over pay and recruitment issues.

    They are looking at strike action on foot of “the Government’s continual failure to meaningfully engage on measures to address the recruitment and retention crisis among the medical profession”.

    The ballot will conclude on Tuesday, December 17th.

    The IMO say its key demands are an immediate end to the current two-tier pay system which sees medical specialists appointed after October 2012 paid considerably less than their longer-serving colleagues.

    It also wants an immediate increase in the number of consultants working in public hospitals.

    Former President of the Irish Medical Organisation, Dr. Matthew Sadlier, says they've been left with no choice but to consider this action.

  • 623 people are on trolleys in hospitals across the country today. 

    That includes 32 patients at Sligo University Hospital, 29 at University Hospital Galway, 4 at Mayo University Hospital and 4 at Portiuncla Hospital in Ballinasloe.

    According to the INMO, the worst affected is Cork University Hospital with 58 people waiting on beds. 

    It's followed by University Hospital Limerick where 55 patients are on trolleys.

  • Siptu says between 15-hundred and two thousand health workers who signed up to be "On Call for Ireland" were handed agency contracts with inferior terms and conditions.

    The trade union says it's been contacted by a number of workers hired under the scheme.

    It says the contracts don't include death-in-service benefits which could amount to up to two years' salary for a worker with a direct state contract, or Covid-19 leave pay.

    The Cathaoirleach of Castlebar Municipal District Michael Kilcoyne raised this issue with HSE West Management last week. He asked for details on the number of staff that have been hired by the HSE at Mayo University Hospital, as distinct from agency staff,  since Minister Harris made what he termed “his emotional On Call for Ireland last March”.

    HSE West Management said they did not have the figures to hand but said they would get back to him with a response.

    Siptu's Paul Bell says agency staff are taking all the same risks as those with hospital contracts - and should get the same treatment.

  • Tomorrow's strike by 10,000 health support workers will go ahead, in their pay-dispute with government.

    Talks between SIPTU, the HSE and Department of Public Expenditure ended last evening without agreement.

    It means healthcare assistants, chefs, porters, cleaners and theatre staff will be among those to down tools from 8am tomorrow morning for 24 hours.

    The strike will result in the cancellation of a number of scope procedures and some elective procedures, as well as some outpatient appointments.

    Mayo, Sligo, Roscommon and Galway University Hospitals will be affected, as well as Merlin Park and Portiuncla Hospitals.

    The HSE says the strike will have a significant impact on services, with some procedures either having to be deferred or cancelled.

  • The trolley crisis in hospital emergency departments is not over, with 500 patients on trolleys today – that’s according to the General Secretary of the INMO Phil Ní Sheaghda.

    With trolley figures on the rise after the Bank Holiday weekend, she says hospitals are still in crisis and she’s calling on the HSE to continue curtailing services to allow hospitals deal with the high numbers on trolleys.

    University Hospital Galway has the third highest number of patients on trolleys today at 41, with 16 on trolleys at Mayo University Hospital, 14 at Sligo hospital and 5 at Portiuncla in Ballinasloe.



  • Visiting restrictions remain in place at hospitals across the Saolta Group - including Mayo and Sligo University Hospitals, University Hospital Galway and Merlin Park, Portiuncla Hospital in Ballinasloe and Roscommon University Hospital.

    The visiting restrictions were introduced last Friday and will continue this week, as an infection control measure.

    Members of the public are asked not to visit hospitals across the Saoltas group, other than end-of-life situations, and other exceptional circumstances, as agreed with the ward manager in advance of visiting.

    Children in particular should not visit patients in hospital.

    Nursing homes across the West are also severely curtailing visitors.