Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health, David Cullinane TD, has described the news that 640 patients were without beds in hospitals across the state today as a damning indictment of Government failure.
Deputy Cullinane said that the Government has thrown in the towel on health as health care workers face difficult conditions in hospitals while patients wait for hours on end in extremely busy Emergency Depts.
Teachta Cullinane said:
“Almost every day of every week we hear of severe overcrowding in emergency departments and of high numbers of patients left without beds in hospitals across the state. It can never be accepted as normal that 640 patients wait on a single day for a bed with many left on trolleys in packed corridors.
“And yet under this Government, this is the new normal. It is not normal and it is a damning indictment of Government failure. The HSE recruitment embargo is a direct result of Government underfunding of the health service for last year and this year.
“The 1,500 rapid build beds promised by the Minister have not been funded as hospitals struggle with chronic overcrowding. The Government is ignoring calls for additional beds and patients are paying the price. The elective only hospitals long promised are not even at the starting gate.
“Meanwhile, alternative care pathways in the community are stretched with out of hours GP care patchy across the state. People with chronic diseases and older people are not getting care in the home or the community due to staff shortages. This adds additional pressure on already overburdened emergency departments.
“This Government took a reckless decision to starve the health service of new funding in 2024. Worse still, they left the health system with not even enough money to stand still. While this Government has thrown in the towel on Health, Sinn Féin has a plan to fix the health service.
“Our alternative budget provided over €1.1b in new measures to build 1,800 additional hospital beds, 600 step-down and recovery beds in the community, the hiring of additional staff in community care and more funding to roll out a minor ailment scheme in pharmacies. Patients and healthcare staff deserve good quality health care not more Government failure.”