Four days before the Minister for Health is due to visit, South Tipperary General Hospital in Clonmel has announced that is is experiencing overcrowding in its Emergency Department and that non-emergency procedures have been postponed or rescheduled.
It is also asking people not to attend the Emergency Department except in case of emergency and where possible to use a GP or CareDoc.
Minister Simon Harris will visit both Clonmel and Cashel on Monday where he will be told of severe overcrowding in South Tipperary General.
Consultants have already warned of a 'disaster' in the hospital this winter because of the overcrowding. It regularly tops the list for hospitals with patients on trolleys.
In a statement on Thursday morning, the hospital said the Emergency Department (ED) is currently experiencing overcrowding.
Management at the hospital is asking members of the public to only attend in the case of a genuine emergency, advising that, where possible, a GP or CareDoc out of hours service be consulted in the first instance.
The statement continued - "This, unfortunately, has led to the postponement and/or rescheduling of a number of planned (non-emergency) inpatient procedures.
"Those who have had their procedures postponed will be contacted with a new appointment date as quickly as possible.
"STGH wishes to reassure people, that while the hospital is extremely busy at present, patients are being seen and cared for appropriately.
"The management at STGH apologises for any inconvenience caused".
A number of proposals have already been put to Minister Harris to tackle the overcrowding and they are certain to be discussed again on Monday.
They include a forty-bed patient hospital to be provided on site; using Our Lady's Hospital in Cashel for step-down beds; and fitting out a space for additional beds located over a new CT Scan unit.
Minister Harris has included a visit to Our Lady's in Cashel following strong representations that the hospital be used to ease the pressure on beds in Clonmel.
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