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Hospital overcrowding a direct result of Government policy - Adams

11 February, 2015 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams TD has said the current overcrowding crisis in hospitals is a direct result of Government policy.

The number of patients awaiting admission is again at near record levels and Mr Adams today raised the issue with Taoiseach Enda Kenny in the Dáil.

Gerry Adams said:

“Some 472 patients were on trolleys in Emergency Departments or wards this morning. For the third day in a row, Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda, has the highest number for those on trollies.

“The Irish Hospital Consultants Association says the Government has not provided adequate resources.

“So, a citizen presents at a hospital. They are ill. A clinical decision is taken to admit them. But Government policy prevents this citizen from receiving proper medical attention. Instead they are left for several hours or days on a chair or a trolley.”

Speaking earlier in the Dáil Mr Adams asked the Taoiseach to visit Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital and top see for himself the challenges being faced by committed health workers and at all the indignities being heaped upon patients.

“The Taoiseach should take the time to visit a ward from which patients have been clinically discharged but cannot be sent home because Government policy denies them the services they require.

“The fact is, the Government has decided that this is the price that our people must pay for their austerity policies. Meanwhile, last year this Government paid € 7.5 billion in debt interest, including private banking debt.

The overcrowding crisis in our hospitals cannot be tackled while the Government pursues these brutal austerity policies.

“Last month I handed the Taoiseach correspondence I received from HIQA which pointed out that the 2012 Tallaght Report recommendations had not been implemented. They said if these recommendations had been implemented, current risks within hospital emergency departments would be significantly reduced.

“HIQA also told the Department of Health and the HSE this. It is the explicit responsibility of the Department of Health and the Minister for Health to take prompt action to implement HIQA recommendations.

“I asked the Taoiseach on 14th January why the HSE, the Department of Health and the Minister had failed to implement HIQA recommendations.

“He refused to answer my question and has not corresponded with me in relation to the issues raised in the HIQA letter, as he promised.

“Again today the Taoiseach failed to explain why the HSE, the Department of Health and the Minister have still failed to implement HIQA’s various recommendations on patient safety in our hospitals.”

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