Wexford General Hospital now has an Acute Medical Assessment Unit (AMAU) seven days a week.
It is open from 8:30 am until 7 pm.
In order to access the unit, you must have a GP referral.
The Emergency Department remains closed, and the AMAU is operating from that building.
Children under the age of 16 cannot be treated.
The openings come as the government is urging people to avoid Emergency Departments over the long weekend.
St Patrick's Day has always been busy for emergency departments, according to the HSE.
While those facing an emergency situation should continue to head to an ED, those in a non-urgent situation are being asked to consider other healthcare options.
So who can?
The AMAU will see patients who have concerns relating to abnormal bloods, anaemia, heart failure, chest infections and pains, pneumonia, collapsing, deep vein thrombosis, diabetic emergencies, diarrhoea, vomiting, exacerbation of COPD or asthma, fever headaches, palpitations, new-onset atrial fibrillation, arrhythmias seizure, mini-strokes, tonsilitis, UTI's and weight loss.
Patients attending the AMAU will be reviewed by a senior clinician and may require x-rays, blood tests, scans or further diagnostic imaging.
Minor Injuries Unit
Today saw a Minor Injury Unit (MIU) opened in the hospital.
It is open from 8 am to 6 pm, seven days a week.
The MIU will also operate from the ED building.
Unlike the AMAU, you do not require a doctor's referral, but you will need to call in advance to arrange an appointment. The number is 053 9153313.
There is no charge if you have a full medical card or a GP referral letter.
Otherwise, it costs €75 to attend an injury unit.
Who can be treated? And what for?
Injury Units are for the treatment of minor injuries that are unlikely to need admission to the hospital.
The MIU can treat patients aged three years of age and older.
Injuries to upper and lower limbs can be treated.
As can broken bones, sprains, bruises, and wounds.
These new services are a temporary measure until the hospital’s ED becomes fully functional again.
It is hoped the new services will help alleviate some of the pressure on University Hospital Waterford and St Luke’s Hospital Kilkenny’s EDs.
The MAU and MIU are expected to treat between 50% to 60% of patients currently diverted to other hospitals.
Since the fire, Wexford General Hospital is down over 100 inpatient beds. Without these, it is unsafe to operate an ED.
The ED is not open while these new services exist. This means that if you feel your treatment is an emergency, please attend your closest alternative ED.
Management and staff request that if you’re in doubt about when to attend the MIU, please ring the hospital in advance of attending.
This will ensure you come to the right location to receive the appropriate care.