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13 Aug 2022

Industrial action leads to 'significant delays' in hospitals for Carlow patients today

Industrial action leads to 'significant delays' in hospitals for Carlow patients today

Some limited services will continue but the HSE says unfortunately there will be wide scale disruption to patients

Significant disruption and service delays in hospitals are expected for patients from Carlow and across Ireland for most of today, Wednesday May 18, due to the industrial action by the Medical Laboratories Scientists Association (MLSA).

This has led to the cancellation of many inpatient and day case elective procedures and hospital outpatient appointments across the country. All routine GP testing services have been suspended. 

The MLSA says it took the action in frustration over long-standing pay and career development issues.

The union representing medical scientists said it has made every effort to avoid today’s disruption to patients and fellow healthcare workers, but has been left with no alternative.

MLSA has 2,100 members and said the vast majority were on picket lines today at all public voluntary and HSE hospitals.

The union says the action follows many rounds of unsuccessful talks with the HSE, Department of Health, Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and the Public Service Agreement Group.

Some limited services will continue but the HSE says unfortunately there will be wide scale disruption to patients.

Emergency Departments experienced the knock on effect of this action on Tuesday as GPs were unable to send routine lab tests to hospitals and instead have had to refer patients directly to emergency departments.

This is leading to delays for patients with non-urgent care needs and such delays are expected to continue tomorrow. The HSE is continuing to seek further derogations relating to patients in hospitals on Wednesday and for priority scopes.

"Emergency Departments will continue as always to prioritise the treatment of the sickest and most urgent patients," a HSE spokesperson said.

Since earlier in the week, hospitals have been contacting patients directly to cancel appointments.

Hospitals will provide further clarity and details as soon as possible and information from all hospitals is available on www.hse.ie/disruptions  

"While efforts are continuing to try to avert this action, the HSE is working with the MLSA to ensure arrangements are in place for the provision of a limited range of services safely," the HSE spokesperson said. 

It also confirmed that appointments and procedures disrupted by the strikes will be rescheduled as soon as possible.

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