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How bad do trolley numbers have to get before the Government act? – O’Reilly

3 May, 2017 - by Louise O'Reilly TD


Speaking today, Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Louise O’Reilly TD has asked “how bad does the situation in our accident and emergency departments have to get before the government takes action?”

Deputy O’Reilly was speaking in response to figures released from the INMO which show that overcrowding levels for the first four months of this year were at the highest levels since records began. The report will be discussed at their conference this week.

The Dublin Fingal TD said:

“There were 36,048 people waiting on trolleys from the start of year until the end of April. This is the highest figure since records began and represents a 1% increase on 2016 figures.

“This is completely and utterly dysfunctional. At what point will the Government wake up to this fact and take action? How bad does the situation have to get?

“Hand-wringing and apologies just won’t cut it at this stage. Kicking the can down the road won’t cut it. We need action and we need it now. Hospitals need it, workers need it and most importantly patients need it.

“This trolley crisis is a symptom of a health system in chaos and a Minister who is out of his depth and unable to deal with it. This cannot be allowed to continue. We need to stop and fix it.

“The Government must, as a matter of urgency, establish an Emergency Department Taskforce on a permanent basis to deal with the crisis at hand. We must increase the number of hospital beds, nursing home beds, and home help hours. We must also invest in community services, the under-resourcing of which means that people end up in hospital when they could and should be cared for in the community.

“Above all, we need political will to end this crisis. We must recruit, reform, and invest in our health services as a matter of urgency.” 

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