Sinn Féin spokesperson for Health Louise O’Reilly TD has said that the Minister for Health needs to publish the Winter Plan for the health service and deploy all available measures to reduce the staggering numbers of patients on trolleys.
Teachta O’Reilly said:
“The trolley crisis has been continuously escalating under Simon Harris’s tenure as Minister for Health. Last year saw the largest number of patients on trolleys in recorded history – 108,227.
“Fine Gael have had 8 years to address this crisis, but they have only made it worse and the INMO figures for patients on trolleys back that up:
- 2012 – 66,308
- 2013 – 67,863
- 2014 – 77,091
- 2015 – 92,998
- 2016 – 93,621
- 2017 – 98,981
- 2018 – 108,227
“This year the crisis has continued on the same trajectory as the last. The most recent Trolley Watch figures from the INMO show that last month was the worst October on record for hospital overcrowding.
“The figures are already staggering, and we haven’t yet hit the peak of winter season.
“As with the housing crisis, the government think that their policies are working for the health service but, they are completely failing, and that failure is having a devastating impact on the lives of patients and staff.
“Minister Harris has so far failed to deal with the issues that are causing this emergency. If he is serious about addressing the issues which create this crisis then he needs to 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.”