March 30, 2023
March UHL trolley numbers will exceed 2,000 – Maurice Quinlivan TD

Sinn Féin TD for Limerick, Maurice Quinlivan, has repeated his call for government to take steps to address the crisis in University Hospital Limerick where figures for March now stand at 1,995 people treated on trolleys.

Teachta Quinlivan said: 

“UHL has hit another scandalous record. As of today, 1,995 people have been treated on trolleys in March. 

“We are on course to exceed 2,000 people treated on trolleys in one month. This is a disgraceful indictment of this government’s utter failure to address the capacity and staffing issues in our hospital services, especially in UHL.

“This month’s figures are significantly worse than last month, and last month was worse than the month before. This is the legacy of this government when it comes to health, which is one of mismanagement, inaction and failure.

“I am renewing my calls to the Minister for Health to fast-track the construction of the 96-bed units, and for the additional bed units to be completed as a matter of urgency. It is not acceptable that the people in the Mid-West must languish on trolleys.

“We need to see government deliver and, as a priority, to deliver a multi-annual capacity expansion plan for the health service to address the current state-wide deficit of 1,000 beds.

“The ESRI’s quarterly commentary estimated a deficit of 1,000 beds in the health service and a requirement for over 300 additional beds to be delivered every year up to 2030.

“Overcrowding at UHL is at a critical point. It is a perpetual problem at the hospital and is a severe threat to patient safety and staff wellbeing. 

“This type of overcrowding has been reported every month, every week, and every day at UHL for many years. 

“When Fine Gael came into government in 2011, there were 3,658 people on trolleys in UHL and Enda Kenny pledged to end the ‘scandal of patients on trolleys’.

“This has not happened.

“Already this year we have seen almost 4,500 people treated on trolleys and at this rate we will exceed the shocking figure of 18,012 in 2022.

“It is time for government and the Minister for Health  to take action. We need to see a workforce plan with a radical increase in healthcare workers and greater efforts being taken to retain staff. 

“Action must be taken on community capacity with intermediate care beds and home support to deliver more care outside of the hospital setting and to speed up the discharges from our hospitals.

“There are huge problems at the hospital, but these can be addressed. This crisis is not something new that has suddenly come upon us, it has been with us for years now. 

“The Minister for Health has long ago lost his credibility. He must produce a plan to expand capacity and address this perpetual crisis at UHL.”

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