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Government's 5 Point Plan in tatters as patients languish on hospital trolleys – Tóibín

26 October, 2011

Sinn Féin TD for Meath West Peadar Tóibín has called on the Minister for Health to overrule HIQA and order an investigation into overcrowding in hospitals in the north east region, with priority being given to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda.

Deputy Tóibín said:

“Last month I, along with party colleague Gerry Adams and local GP Dr Ruairi Hanley, called on HIQA to carry out a full, public investigation into the serious overcrowding in the Emergency Department in Drogheda hospital and publish the findings.

“There are consistently between 45 and 55 patients on trolleys and chairs in Our Lady of Lourdes. This is the highest number of inpatients without beds in any hospital in this state.

“In a further recent development three patients and an unspecified number of staff in Our Lady of Lourdes Drogheda were screened for TB.

“By refusing to carry out this investigation, HIQA continues to dodge the issue for fear of a damning outcome.

“HIQA’s reply to our request was totally unsatisfactory and it ignored the central point that overcrowding in the hospital was a health risk that demanded an investigation.

“It is inevitable that with sick patients waiting sometimes for days in the Emergency Department, cross contamination will take place.

“I believe that this is a case of dangerous maladministration and regulatory negligence that could have a grave outcome in the north east region. So I am putting it to the Minster Reilly to use his power under Health act 2007 - section 9 1 and 2 to order a long overdue enquiry.

“This overcrowding totally undermines the HSE's argument to close Navan Hospital's A&E.

“The government health care policy is based on overcrowding and cuts. The needs of the public are far down the list of priorities.

“Before the General Election Fine Gael's 5 Point Plan promised to 'reduce waiting lists.' This plan now lies in tatters. Nowhere is that clearer than in the HSE's attempt to close Navan Hospital A&E while Drogheda hospital remains dangerously overcrowded "

“I am calling on the Minister for Health to restore public confidence and ensure HIQA initiate the full, public investigation of the Emergency Departments in the north east region and publish the findings.”

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