Fianna Fáil TD for Galway East Anne Rabbitte says growing waiting lists for orthopaedic procedures at Merlin Park University Hospital are a major cause for concern.  The closure of operating theatres at the hospital last September has led to a major backlog in procedures, with people now waiting exceptionally long time for routine operations.

Deputy Rabbitte commented, “It’s been six months since the theatres at Merlin Park were closed following the discovery of a leak in the roof of the building, and while I appreciate that a tender process was put in place for the construction of a new modular theatre unit, the repair works being carried out on the existing building are still not completed.

“The latest information from the Saolta Hospital Group says it expects one of the theatres to be opened by mid-March but the new modular suite won’t be up and running until October at the earliest.  That will mean the hospital will have been operating without its full complement of orthopaedic theatres for over a year.

“Merlin Park University Hospital, together with University Hospital Galway, caters for the bulk of orthopaedic procedures for people living in the West and North West.  The fact that operations have had to be cancelled is leading to increased frustration among patients, many of whom are in pain and discomfort.

“I am calling on the hospital group and the HSE to expedite works on these buildings so that a full service can resume as soon as possible”.

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