Emergency Department: Portiuncula Hospital, Ballinasloe


The Emergency Department is located on the lower ground floor of Portiuncula Hospital and provides open access for all emergencies 24 hours a day.

Access to service

Assessment and treatment of patients attending the Emergency Department is provided by 6 Non Consultant Hospital Doctors under the supervision of Dr. Orla Smithwick, Consultant in Emergency Medicine.

The Nursing team comprises Nurses and 1 Care Attendant. Three members of the Nursing Team are currently undertaking their Masters in Advanced Nurse Practitioner at National University of Ireland, Galway. Clerical Support is provided on a 24-hour basis to the Emergency Department Reception Desk.


Patients are assessed by the Triage Nurse and given a priority rating which will determine the urgency with which they are seen.

The Triage Categories are as follows:

  • Category 1 - Needs to be seen immediately
  • Category 2 - Needs to be seen within 10 minutes
  • Category 3 - To be seen within 1 hour
  • Category 4 - To be seen within 2 hours
  • Category 5 - Non-Urgent - To be seen within 4 hours

Documentation Required

  • Referral Letter: if you were seen by your GP prior to attending the Emergency Department.
  • Medical Card: if you are a holder of a medical card, it is important that you bring the card with you to the hospital - the number alone will not suffice.
  • Private Insurance: if your attendance to the Emergency Department results in you being admitted, you will be required to provide this information

A & E Charge

There is a charge for attending the Emergency Department; the current charge is €100 per visit. Some exemptions apply to this charge. It should be noted this charge may not be covered by your health insurance.

Developments currently taking place to the Emergency Department:

The activity in the Emergency Department increases yearly with just under 21,000 patients attending in 2007. Increasing demands on the service have provided challenges to all members of the multidisciplinary team. Chief amongst these challenges has been capacity. This deficit is to be addressed imminently with a major refurbishment and extension to the Emergency Department set to commence in late summer 2008, with an estimated completion date of summer 2009. This will provide Portiuncula Hospital with a state of the art Emergency Department.  During the build period, the Emergency Department will relocate to an interim development immediately adjacent to the present location.

Contact Numbers

Emergency Department: 090 9648248

Secretary: 090 9648626