A&E crisis has not gone away – Ó Caoláin
Sinn Féin Health & Children spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has said new figures show the failure of the Government and the HSE, one year on from the publication of the Emergency Department Task Force Report, to reduce the numbers of patients waiting on trolleys in A&E departments in some of the largest hospitals in the State.
Statistics provided to the Irish Medical News by the Irish Association for Emergency Medicine show numbers of patients on trolleys in A&E departments up to three times higher than this time last year.
Deputy Ó Caoláin said, "A year on from the publication of the Emergency Department Task Force Report pressure at some of the largest hospitals in the state is worse than ever. The Task Force was set up after Health Minister Harney said the A&E situation was a national emergency.
"Now we find that five major hospitals - Beaumont, Sligo General, the Mid-Western Regional, Limerick, Portiuncula in Ballinasloe and University College Hospital, Galway - are showing very significant increases in numbers on trolleys in the month of April 2008 as compared to the same month this time last year. Numbers trebled in Sligo and more than doubled in Beaumont and Galway.
"These figures expose again the glaring need to provide additional hospital beds to address this crisis. We also need to see the delivery of the promised network of primary care centres and step-down facilities to free up hospital beds at both ends of the hospital system.
"This Government wants to centralise virtually all hospital services to the very hospitals which are currently under most pressure. Such a disastrous policy must be reversed." ENDS