November 4, 2019
Another difficult winter ahead as government fail to make any progress in tackling trolley crisis – Louise O’Reilly TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health Louise O’Reilly TD has said that the increase in the number of patients on trolleys highlights the government’s failure to make any progress in tackling the trolley crisis for the eighth consecutive year.

Deputy O’Reilly has said that this points to another difficult winter ahead for patients and staff.

The Dublin Fingal TD said: 

“For eight years now, Fine Gael have failed to make any inroads into tackling the trolley crisis. The situation has got worse month by month and year by year.

“There have been record numbers of people left on trolleys for the first 10 months of 2019 and as we progress deeper into the winter this problem will become more acute for patients and staff.

“Last week the INMO published figures showing there were not enough beds for 11,452 patients in Irish hospitals this October. The Trolley Watch figures for today have shown there are 595 people on trolleys without a bed in a hospital.

“Such numbers are a serious cause for concern, especially as we move into the flu season when the health service is put under enormous pressure.

“If Minister Harris and Fine Gael, as well as their coalition partners Fianna Fáil, are serious about addressing the issues which create this crisis then they need to stop their phoney-war on social media about policies and focus on tackling five main areas:
– the recruitment and retention of staff
– reopening closed beds
– adequate step-down facilities
– more home help hours
– and proper investment in primary and community care.

“Sinn Féin have outlined our solutions for this crisis and they are patient focused and designed to improve our health system for both patients and staff – the Dáil agreed these measures would work and voted to support them in January 2018, but the government have refused to implement them.

“Tackling these issues will not only reduce the numbers of patients on trolleys in our hospitals, but it will also ensure that those who are in our hospitals will get the care they need, and it will also relieve the pressure on the excellent staff we have working in our health service so they can provide the best possible care they can give.”

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