Monaghan Minor Injuries Unit alone in not operating 7-day service – Matt Carthy TD
The Minor Injuries Unit at Monaghan Hospital is the only such unit that does not operate on a 7-day week basis and is alone in not opening on Bank Holidays. It also has the shortest opening hours of any of the 10 MIUs across the state.
This week, Cavan Monaghan Dáil Deputy Matt Carthy said that there is no justification for these restricted operating hours within Monaghan’s MIU as figures released to Sinn Féin show that the unit had almost as many attendees in 2021 as another unit that operates seven days per week with substantially longer opening hours.
Deputy Carthy confirmed that he has been working closely with his party’s Health Spokesperson, David Cullinane, on this issue. He said that there is an inarguable case for the opening hours at Monaghan Hospital’s Minor Injuries Unit to be expanded and for fees associated with MIU presentations to be scrapped.
Monaghan Minor Injuries Unit operates just five days a week, excluding bank holidays, and is open from 9am to 5pm. The other Minor Injuries Units in the state are located at Hospitals in Bantry, Ennis, Dundalk, Mallow, Cork Mercy, Nenagh, Roscommon, Loughlinstown St Columcille’s and Limerick St John’s. All of these operate on a seven-day week basis, including bank holidays, and open from 8am until between 6pm and 8pm each day.
But, according to figures released to Sinn Féin by the HSE, Monaghan MIU received 5,374 attendees last year, almost identical to the number attending Bantry MIU despite significantly lower operating times. While the attendance rates for other MIUs are higher, Deputy Carthy claims this is entirely understandable considering their much broader opening hours.
Cavan Monaghan Sinn Féin TD, Matt Carthy, has repeatedly told Minister Stephen Donnelly that the Minor Injuries Unit should be utilised in order to ease pressure on both GP services and A&E departments. He confirmed this week that he has again written to the Minister urging his direct intervention to expand Monaghan Minor Injuries Unit.
Deputy Carthy said this week:
“Monaghan Minor Injuries Unit is a service that should be widely utilised and I encourage people to attend when appropriate.
“But, the potential of the service provided is undermined by the reduced opening times. Expanding the hours and days would be the single most impactful intervention government can take to revitalise Monaghan Hospital.
“The decision of previous Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael governments to remove services from Monaghan Hospital continues to have serious negative repercussions. A&E services were withdrawn from Monaghan and resulted in drastic overcrowding at Cavan and Drogheda hospitals.
“The Minor Injuries Unit can serve to ease pressure on both GP practices and A & E departments.
“But Minister Donnelly confirmed to me that he has no intention of seeking the expansion of this service. Likewise there has been no movement to remove the €75 fee for attendees despite the fact that the HSE cannot even outline how much funds this fee raises and the clear evidence that the fee acts as a disincentive – leading to further demands on GPs and A&E.
“For Sinn Fein, it will remain a priority for us to force the expansion of the Minor Injuries Unit at Monaghan Hospital and the removal of the associated fees”.
Hospital MIU Operating Hours Days 2021 Attendees
Bantry 8am – 7.30pm 7days 5,443
Ennis 8am-8pm 7days 11,222
Louth 9am-8pm 7days 11,327
Mallow 8am-8pm 7days 7,505
Cork Mercy 8am-8pm 7days 16,406
Monaghan 9am-5pm 5days 5,374
Nenagh 8am-8pm 7days 9,971
Roscommon 8am-8pm 7days 9,336
St. Columcilles 8am-6pm 7days 8,747
Limerick St. Johns 8am-7pm 7days 12,688