Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health, David Cullinane TD, has described the trolley watch figures for the month of October published today by the INMO as ‘deeply disturbing’.
The Waterford TD said the Minister’s Winter Plan is nothing more than a repackaging of existing and failed measures and will not address the crisis in Emergency Departments.
Speaking today, Teachta Cullinane said:
“The figures published today by the INMO show that 10,679 patients have been without a bed this October making it the second worst October for ED overcrowding on record.
“On one day last week we had 669 patients on trollies, the highest recorded in the month of October. The average wait time to admission in emergency departments across the state was 12.7 hours and more than 14 hours for those over 75.
“The Minister is fumbling from one failed plan to another and is failing to understand the causes and solutions to hospital overcrowding.
“Clearly many hospitals do not have the bed capacity needed or the appropriate number of consultants and nurses and other allied health care professionals.
“The lack of out of hours pharmacy and GP services is driving more people to emergency departments as is the lack of home care support and community care.
“The Minister failed to properly equip our public hospitals for the winter ahead as well as failing to address the deficits in primary and community care.
“The lack of step down and recovery beds is resulting in delayed discharges from hospitals and is in turn delaying admission from ED’s to a hospital bed.
“I have long argued for a new work force planning strategy aimed at substantially increasing training places and addressing recruitment and retention issues and delivering safe staffing across all health care settings.
“We need more acute beds, community beds, more staff, more hospital theatre and diagnostic capacity as well as a root and branch reform of primary care.
“However what we are witnessing in our hospitals now is a real emergency and will worsen over the coming weeks and months.
“All options must be on the table including leveraging private health care capacity. We cannot leave those on the front line and patients in the lurch as the crisis in our hospitals deepens.”