University Hospital Limerick threatened with Budget Cuts Over Patient Wait Times

University Hospital Limerick is facing penalties of up to €10,000 if a patient remains on a trolley more than nine hours in its Emergency Department.

If a patient remains on a trolley longer than nine hours, €10,000 could be deducted from the hospital’s budget. This measure will remain in place from December 1 to March 1, 2016.

Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar TD, HSE Director General Tony O’Brien and HSE acute services national director Liam Woods issued the directive to the UL hospitals group. The directive is part of a national plan to tackle overcrowding in the accident and emergency departments nationwide.

A spokesperson for the UL Hospital’s Group said, a“UL Hospitals would hope to keep any breaches of this ED Congestion Escalation Directive to a minimum.”

If UL hospital incur any fines the money will be re-allocated to the “best performing hospitals” under the HSE’s new directive.

The news comes as emergency department staff are planning to take strike action between December and the New Year.

The UL Hospitals Group spokesperson said it will ““do everything to avert any possible industrial action”by working with INMO and SIPTU trade unions.

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