I have a good one for you. In light of last week’s article on Donie Doody (SIPTU’s Branch Organiser for Kerry Hospitals) and his suggestion to utilise Killarney’s vacant hospital beds to alleviate pressure on University Hospital Kerry, I contacted the HSE for an official comment.

They responded, fairly quickly in fairness to them, telling me to contact a named PR firm, and they provided a number to call.

So I called and left a message outlining my question. I promptly received a response. “That’s a question for the HSE.”

I’ll be honest with you, I was confused.

Long story short, I wasn’t able to get a comment from the HSE and I spoke to Donie Doody yesterday and he said he hadn’t received an official response from anyone either (although the Minister for Health did at least acknowledge receipt of his statement).

He also restated his belief that Killarney’s empty beds should be used to take pressure of Tralee. He had never seen so many unused beds in Killarney in his life, he said. There are currently 30 vacant hospital beds in the town. Yesterday, there were 15 people waiting on trolleys at University Hospital Kerry.

It seems like a common sense solution to a very serious and pressing issue and it will be interesting to see what the HSE and the Department of Health have to say for themselves (if anyone can actually manage to track them down).