February 29, 2024
Worst month ever at UHL as 2,247 people treated on trolleys in February – Maurice Quinlivan TD

Sinn Féin TD for Limerick, Maurice Quinlivan, has said that the February 2024 trolley figures are further evidence that the crisis at University Hospital Limerick (UHL) continues unabated.

Deputy Quinlivan made the comments as the latest trolley figure numbers at UHL show that February 2024 was the highest on record for any month ever.

Teachta Quinlivan said:

“On the last day of February, the trolley figures show that an incredible 2,247 people were treated on hospital trolleys this month. That is an average of 112 people being treated per day in this manner. 2,247 is the highest number on record for any month ever. Year after year, month after month, the figures get worse and worse.

“It is surely time for the Minister for Health to acknowledge the crisis and acknowledge that his efforts to tackle this crisis have failed, failed, and failed again. He is out of his depth, he is out of ideas and the people of Limerick, and the Midwest have run out of patience.

“The people of Limerick deserve much better than this. Those people being treated on trolleys are often our friends, neighbours, and our family members. They are treated in conditions that deprive them of dignity and of privacy. Being treated in this manner is not only a pressure on the patient but it is a less than optimal working conditions for our hardworking medical professionals.

“UHL consistently 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 UHL. The hospital has seen the full capacity protocol almost in perpetual operation. The hospital is in a constant state of crisis – crisis has become the norm.

“The Government decided in Budget 2024 to not fund the 1,500 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 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 must tell their colleague, the Minister for Health, that enough is enough. Our constituents deserve much better.”

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