Hospital services

Portlaoise hospital services affected by lab strike, HSE says

The strike by laboratory staff at Portlaoise and other hospitals has led to cancellations and made A&Es very busy, according to the HSE in Dublin and the Midlands.

The Medical Laboratory Scientists Association (MLSA) said its May 18 industrial action was launched to address a 20-year wage disparity problem, shortage of medical scientists and lack of career progression.

HSE’s Dublin Midland Hospital Group oversees hospitals in Laois, Offaly, Kildare and Dublin. He described the impact.

“The MLSA industrial action today has resulted in the cancellation of many services at all hospitals, including some elective inpatient and day procedures, outpatient appointments and laboratory testing services for patients. general practitioners.

“Many emergency departments would have been very busy with patients with non-urgent care needs who are experiencing backlogs in many hospitals.

“Local Strike Committees have been established in all hospitals and they liaise with local MLSA representatives to manage issues as they arise and to ensure the provision of a limited range of services. safely.

“While laboratory services will resume as normal tomorrow, increased demand for tests will likely result in delayed turnaround times for tests requested by hospitals and GPs tomorrow and Friday.

“However, every effort will be made to minimize the impact of this disruption to services. Appointments and procedures disrupted by today’s industrial action will be rescheduled as soon as possible.

“The HSE continues to engage with all parties to try to avoid further industrial action planned for next week and the weeks ahead,” the statement said.

The MLSA said it was the only union representing almost 2,000 medical scientists in Ireland.

He explained the reason for the industrial action before the work stoppage.

“The MLSA has done everything possible to avoid initiating industrial action, due to the severe impact it will have on the health service and patient care, and to protect the benefits already held by members. However , despite lengthy negotiations, it has not been possible to secure a mechanism to resolve our grievance and it is now clear that without industrial action we cannot achieve our long-standing goal and legitimate expectation of parity with biochemists clinics, as recommended by the 2001 expert panel and accepted by the HSE and the Department of Health,” it said.

More information on today’s service disruptions can be found at