Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health David Cullinane TD has expressed serious concern at the lack of available critical care beds for children as reported in the HSE daily Covid-19 operations updates.
He said that, in the last week, there were no beds for five of seven days, with only three or 29 beds coming available, while HSE is reporting an upsurge of children attending emergency departments with seasonal illness.
Teachta Cullinane said:
“The crisis in our acute hospitals is going to get worse this winter.
“There is a severe lack of ICU beds, with none now available for children.
“Of the 29 children’s critical care beds, zero are available this morning.
“I know from my visits to Galway, Cork, Limerick and Sligo that Emergency Departments are overflowing as the winter season begins.
“The trolley count, as reported by the INMO, is now regularly over 450 people a day and heading in the wrong direction.
“The number of patients admitted to hospital without a bed passed 500 during the week for the first time in two years.
“The lack of beds this winter will make the job harder for healthcare workers, and present difficult choices about who to give a bed to in a time of rising uncertainty.
“The paltry health budget this year, providing for no additional general acute hospital beds and only 19 more critical care beds, is all the more unbelievable when there are no critical care beds available for children today and at least 10 children waiting on trolleys.”