January 6, 2020
Treatment of over 75s in Cork hospitals indicative of a broken system – Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD

HSE figures show that 2,223 patients over 75 had to wait over 24 hours for care between Mercy University Hospital and Cork University Hospital from January to November last year.
 
Additionally, in a joint statement last night, the HSE and the Irish Nurses and Midwives Union said elective surgery had been cancelled in Cork hospitals in response to overcrowding.
 
Sinn Féin TD for Cork South-Central Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire has said this is indicative of a broken system and that more must be done to tackle overcrowding, and that older people in particular are deserving of much better treatment.
 
Teachta Ó Laoghaire said;
 
“Unfortunately, the issue of overcrowding is not a new phenomenon, and one which we are all too familiar with in our hospitals.  
 
“All elective surgery is to be cancelled at Cork University and Mercy University until further notice in response to overcrowding in their emergency departments.
 
“Figures released to Sinn Féin have shown that between January and November of last year 15,344 patients over the age of 75 had to wait over 24 hours for treatment in Emergency Departments around the State.
 
“Fine Gael’s lack of planning for the health service throughout 2019 has consistently put the health of older patients at risk as figures released by the HSE showed 2,223 patients over 75 had to wait over 24 hours for care in Cork hospitals between January and November.
 
“This was foreseeable in a way, and the pressures on hospitals have been flagged up with the Minister well in advance, with overcrowding numbers being a consistent factor of his time in office.
 
“This is all indicative of a broken system; a system that is tearing at the seams, and it appears no amount of government patchwork can fix it.
 
“Minister Harris must intervene immediately; and the HSE must ramp up their efforts employ new nurses and doctors to facilitate the number of people attending our hospitals.
 
“A failure to do so is yet another failure of the system itself.”

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