Kidney dialysis unit planning refused

CONCERNS have been expressed over a decision to refuse planning for a satellite kidney dialysis unit.

Limerick County Council turned down planning permission for the unit, aimed at reducing a patients’ waiting list.

The proposed unit was to be developed in Raheen industrial estate, near the Mid-Western Regional Hospital.

But the council said the proposed development would create additional traffic in the industrial estate and thereby endanger public safety.

Many mid-west dialysis patients have to travel to Dublin and Galway as the unit at the Mid-Western Regional Hospital is operating at full capacity.

Pat O’Brien of the Irish Kidney Association in Limerick said it was bad news for local kidney failure patients.

He said: “I know one man from Co Limerick who travels two and a half hours to Galway for treatment three times a week. He has to spend five hours there and then he has to drive back home for another two and a half hours. That’s just one patient but there are a number of others also.”

He said the blame for the present situation rests with the HSE.

Mr O’Brien said: “Initially there was a mobile unit in Tullamore and when there was a new unit opened there, the Irish Kidney Association wanted to move the old mobile unit to Limerick but the HSE turned it down and put out a tender for a commercial unit. That was a few years ago and now things are at crisis point. People are travelling to Galway and Dublin and they should be treated here. The overcrowding in Limerick means they can’t. The problem has been going on for several years and the HSE have done nothing but put it out to tender.”

The private company given the tender stated in it’s planning application thefacility was much needed and it was appropriate it be located in Limerick.

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