Sinn Féin TD for Limerick, Maurice Quinlivan, has expressed serious concern at the lack of available hospital beds in Limerick Hospital, with more than 1,269 patients having spent days on trolleys in October.
He said that, according to INMO Trolley Watch data collated and analysed by the Irish Patients Association, Limerick Hospital has been consistently one of the worst performing hospitals for trolley numbers which lays bare a failure by Government to invest in healthcare for Limerick and the Mid-West.
Deputy Quinlivan said:
“In October 1,269 patients at Limerick Hospital Emergency Department was the worst performing ED in the state in terms of overcrowding.”
“There were more than 200 patients on trolleys last week according to INMO Trolley Watch data which was analysed by the Irish Patients Association.
“Limerick Hospital is consistently among the worst affected by Emergency Department overcrowding because the investments have not been made in bed capacity or community services for the Mid-West.
“This lack of beds is a serious concern for a number of reasons. Firstly, it means that patients presenting at our Emergency Department are not getting treated properly for their injuries.
“Secondly, it means that scheduled care – such as vital surgeries – are being cancelled to free up beds for emergency care.
“Thirdly, with the worrying situation of Covid-19 in our hospitals, this is putting more pressure on ICU capacity and exposing more patients and staff to Covid outbreaks due to unsafe working conditions in hospitals.”
“This lays bare the absolute failure of Government to invest in West of Ireland healthcare in the last decade – and, indeed, they did not provide for one additional inpatient acute bed in Budget 2022 meaning they do not intend to solve this problem.”
The Limerick Deputy continued:
“The issue of overcrowding at UHL has been well documented by me on the floor of the Dáil. To date we have seen nothing from the Minister for Health that will comfort the 1,269 patients and their families that have to wait on trollies at UHL in October. The Minister has not demonstrated that he can tackle the crisis in our ED, Limerick people deserve so much better.
We await the construction of a new bed unit that would create some additional capacity. I again urge that this process be expedited.”
“The failure of Budget 2022 to tackle the overcrowding and capacity shortages in Irish Hospitals underlines how this Government have left Limerick behind.”