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Adams challenges Taoiseach on health crisis

5 October, 2011 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has described the situation in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda as a ‘crisis’ and has warned of worse to come in the health system in the winter.

Teachta Adams was speaking during Leaders Questions in the Dáil this morning. He blamed government policy and the reconfiguration process in the north east region for the debacle that is taking place in all of the hospitals in that area.

Teachta Adams called on the Taoiseach to “open Medical Ward three in Louth County hospital to take clinically discharged patients from Lourdes hospital in Drogheda” and to give a “firm commitment not to close the Emergency Department in Our Lady of Lourdes in Navan?”

The Taoiseach refused to do either.

The Sinn Féin leader also criticised the Taoiseach’s failure to directly answer the questions put to him.

He reminded the Taoiseach and the Tánaiste that before they were in government they warned that patients were dying at the end of hospital waiting lists and that the HSE was not working or delivering. That has not changed.

Teachta Adams revealed that he and Councillor Imelda Munster visited the Emergency Department at Our Lady of Lourdes in Drogheda.

He said:

“There were 53 patients on trolleys. Some were there for five days. In the first six months of this year there were 3266 patients on trolleys and chairs and sometimes on the floor. These are not just statistics. These are neighbours, family members and friends.

“They are also citizens. One man told me he waited eight hours for a doctor last Saturday. He was still on a trolley on Monday.

“This crisis is before the winter comes on us. The staff are doing heroic work but this crisis needs your urgent intervention.”

The Louth TD also slammed the shouts of Labour TDs during his contribution. Mr. Adams said: “Labour TDs heckle while a Deputy raises the fact that 3266 patients can’t get a hospital bed.” ENDS

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