Varadkar plays down reports patients won't go to hospital on 'wrong' side of Liffey

Varadkar plays down reports patients won't go to hospital on 'wrong' side of Liffey

The Health Minister Leo Varadkar has played down reports that a new hospital is struggling to fill its beds because it is on the "wrong" side of the Liffey.

Leo Varadkar was responding to claims that a new community hospital in Mount Carmel has seen beds lie empty because people will not cross from the Northside.

A media report claims that 15 beds were empty at the new hospital last week, on the same night that 50 patients lay on trolleys in Beaumont.

Responding to the claim in the irish Times, Leo Varadkar said overcrowding was influenced by many factors and not just the hospital's location, but admitted the Liffey could be a problem when it came to getting patients out of emergency wards.

"You will have people who won't leave and won't go to a nursing home because they don’t like it, or to a district hospital because it's on the other side of the city, and that does create difficulties," he said.

"In Britain in the NHS, they take a very forceful attitude with patients and essentially remove them from the hospital. We haven’t gone down that road yet in Ireland and we don’t have any particular plans to at the moment."

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