Break in case of emergency

Most groups seem to agree that Ireland has too many emergency departments – but there are fears that plans to reduce the number will lead to a poorer service for patients

Susan Mitchell

Deputy Editor and Health Editor @susmitchellsbp
15th May, 2010

The withdrawal of any hospital services elicits public outrage, but is there a case to be made for having fewer emergency departments?

Thirty-four emergency departments serve a population of 4.5million people in Ireland. We have a similar population to that of Sydney, Australia, which has about one-third as many emergency departments (although they obviously serve a much smaller geographical area). Dublin has six emergency departments, as well as three paediatric emergency departments. The city of...

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