Trolley count figures revealing an 8% increase in hospital overcrowding are proof-positive of the impact of Government austerity and a failed approach to healthcare, according to Sinn Féin's spokesperson on Health, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin T.D.
Deputy Ó Caoláin said;
"Figures released by the INMO today confirm an 8% increase in hospital overcrowding in July of this year as compared to July 2013. They also confirm that many wards, in addition to Emergency Departments, are now regularly overcrowded.
"Five hospitals, Sligo Regional, the Mater and St. James's in Dublin, Our Lady of Lourdes in Drogheda and the University Hospital in Limerick, saw very significant Emergency Department overcrowding compared to last year. Our Lady of Lourdes in Drogheda saw 632 patients admitted on trolleys in 2014 compared to 317 in 2013.
"This overcrowding is a direct result of Government decisions. Despite the efforts of the much-trumpeted Special Delivery Unit the reality is that this Government has continued in the same vein as the last. Together they have implemented health budget cuts of the order of €4 billion which have included a cull of staff numbers by more than 15,000.
"A change of Minister will not suffice. We need a change of Government and a change of approach."