Sinn Féin health spokesperson Deputy Louise O’Reilly has called for a national emergency to be called over hospital overcrowding, as the number of patients on trolleys has already exceeded 100,000 for 2019.
Speaking this morning, Teachta O’Reilly said:
“The news from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) that already in 2019 over 100,000 patients have had to wait on trolleys in Emergency Departments forecasts worrying times ahead for patients and staff in the health service.
“Since the beginning of the year until today 101,064 patients have gone without a bed in an Irish hospital. Even today there are 607 patients waiting on trolleys.
“This is only the second time that annual figures have ever passed 100,000.
“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
- 2019 (to date) – 101,064
“The has been getting worse year on year for over eight years and no one in Fine Gael has been able to come up with a single solution.
“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.
“At this stage you would have to ask yourself if they even want to solve the crisis.
“I keep saying this and so long as there is a trolley crisis I will continue to say it – to tackle the trolley crisis you have to address the issues causing it and focus on addressing them through:
– increasing recruitment and retention of staff
– reopening closed beds
– delivering more step-down facilities
– increasing home help hours
– proper investment in primary and community care.”