January 22, 2024
Worst day on record as UHL trolley numbers spiral out of control – Maurice Quinlivan TD

Sinn Féin TD for Limerick, Maurice Quinlivan, has said that the January 2024 trolley figures are evidence that the Health Minister is unable to address the capacity challenges at UHL (University Hospital Limerick).

He made the comments as the latest trolley figure numbers at UHL show that the January 2024 figure so far has already exceeded the whole of January 2023 figure.

Teachta Quinlivan said:

“As of today, there have been 1,333 people treated on trolleys so far in January 2024. The 2024 figure has already exceeded the figure of 1,180 people on trolleys for the whole of January 2023.

“The 132 people on trolleys today is the highest number of people on trolleys ever at UHL.

“With this government in charge, the figures have continuously worsened. 2023 saw a record 21,409 people treated on trolleys.

“Behind each of these statistics is a friend or a family member who have been deemed in need of a hospital bed, and yet there is no bed available to them.

“UHL has the highest number of people being treated in corridors and on hospital trolleys. This method of treating patients makes it challenging for hospital staff and for the patient, it is treatment without privacy.

“There is a 1,000-bed deficit in hospitals across the state, and a need for at least 500 additional beds by the end of next year to keep pace with growing demand and to make space for tackling waiting lists.

“Many of these beds are needed in Limerick and would make a real difference in relieving pressure at University Hospital Limerick. While we await the delivery of 96-bed blocks that deliver only 48 additional beds, patients presenting at UHL continue to be treated on trolleys and in hospital corridors.

“The Government decided in Budget 2024 to not fund the 1500 beds that were clearly identified as needed by the latest bed capacity analysis by the ESRI. Their decision to underfund the health service is delaying the beds needed to make hospitals safer.

“This government and its Minister for Health have failed the people of Limerick. They have failed to tackle this crisis and have allowed the figures to spiral.

“In Limerick yesterday protestors took to the streets to highlight their concerns with University Hospital Limerick and the challenges at the hospital. It is high time that this government, and this Minister for Health, took notice and took steps to address this crisis.

“In this city, three of the four TDs elected are from government parties, with one of them being a junior minister.

“Their silence on the crisis at UHL has been deafening. They were elected by the people of Limerick and must act in their interest.

“They need to speak to their government colleague, Minister Stephen Donnelly, and let him know that his actions or lack thereof, on the hospital crisis, has been paltry and unacceptable.”

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