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UHL outsources for radiological service due to waiting list pressures  

By Paul Mulholland - 30th Mar 2024

UHL

University Hospital Limerick (UHL) has gone to tender for outsourced radiological services due to “considerable challenges” in the provision of diagnostic scans at the hospital, a spokesperson has told the Medical Independent (MI).

The spokesperson for University of Limerick Hospital Group said that tenders are being undertaken for CT, MRI and ultrasound services “due to the growth in waiting lists in these modalities”.

“We face considerable challenges in provision of diagnostic scans in University Hospital Limerick as demand for radiology tests now exceeds available capacity,” according to the spokesperson.

“Priority at present is being given to inpatients and to oncology outpatients. We are undertaking this tender to improve access to radiology services, in particular for outpatients, and to achieve the best value for money.”

When asked about current waiting lists for diagnostic scans at UHL, the spokesperson said waiting lists are currently being validated to more accurately reflect the number of patients waiting and the length of time they have been waiting.

“The tender is aimed at reducing the waiting lists that have grown since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic,” the spokesperson told MI. They added that once the waiting lists are reduced, it is anticipated that the hospital will manage waiting lists locally.

Planning permission was secured in October 2023 for an extension to the MRI department at UHL to accommodate an additional MRI scanner, consultant radiologist offices, on-call facilities, teaching space, and changing-room facilities.

A tender process is currently being undertaken for enabling works, with an estimated start date on-site this June and July. The main building contract is at detailed design stage, according to the spokesperson.

The current proposed completion date for the building works is the end of 2025.

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