Daisy Hill sees rise since downgrading of Louth
THREE months after the downgrading of the Louth County Hospital, there has already been a surge in the numbers choosing to go North for emergency treatment, The Argus can reveal.
from July 5th to September 5th, there was a 37% increase in patients from the Louth area attending Daisy Hill for emergency treatment.
The Argus revealed earlier this year that the numbers of women from Louth choosing to have their babies in Newry has rocketed in the ten years since the closure of the maternity unit at the Louth.
From single percentage points in 2000, births to Louth mothers now account for more than 15% of births at Daisy Hill Hospital.
A spokesperson from the Southern Health and Social Care Trust said: ‘Overall the Trust is experiencing increased demand for A&E services.
‘The Trust is continuing to monitor the impact of patient activity from the Republic of Ireland on A&E services on a weekly basis’.
A breakdown of the figures show that of a sample of 31 Louth people who were treated in Newry’s accident and emergency 25 went there themselves, while five were referred by their GPs. Just one was brought there by ambulance.
When asked about charging patients, the Trust spokesperson said: ‘ Trusts are entitled to charge patients attending A&E departments for non-emergency treatment if they are not ordinarily resident within Northern Ireland.
‘Patients from the Republic of Ireland with life threatening conditions who need emergency treatment at their nearest A&E department are not charged if they attend Southern Trust hospitals.
‘However, patients from the Republic who attend Daisy Hill or Craigavon Area hospitals for non-emergency treatment will be charged’.