Overcrowding sees surgeries cancelled in two Cork hospitals

Overcrowding in the emergency departments (EDs) of two Cork city hospitals has forced the cancellation of non-urgent surgeries.

Both Cork University Hospital (CUH) and the Mercy University Hospital (MUH) issued statements yesterday calling on members of the public to present at their respective EDs as a last resort.

CUH said the hospital has been “exceptionally busy in recent weeks”, particularly last weekend, when some 694 patients attended the ED between Friday and Monday. Of these, 236 required admission to hospital.

By 3pm yesterday, 117 patients had presented at the ED.

MUH issued a warning of long delays for patient attending its ED.

The hospital said it was “currently experiencing a surge in patients” and that long delays were due to “the exceptional number of very ill people”.

A spokesperson for the hospital said that it had implemented its escalation policy which includes the option of cancelling scheduled surgeries.

A number of scheduled surgeries were cancelled yesterday at both MUH and CUH.

In January, non-urgent elective surgery was cancelled at CUH on a number of occasions because of ED overcrowding and a build up of patients awaiting admission.

Patients were advised last night to contact their GPs or local South Doc in the first instance in the event of a non-urgent complaint, or to avail of services at the Mercy Urgent Care Centre, St Mary’s Health Campus, and other urgent care units in the city.

In the county, the Local Injuries Unit at Bantry General Hospital operates between 8am and 7.30pm and the Local Injuries Unit in Mallow General Hospital is open from 8am and 7pm.


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