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Hospital crisis endangering patients’ lives - Gerry Adams TD

20 February, 2015 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams TD has said chronic hospital overcrowding is leading to the cancellation of serious operations, potentially endangering patients’ lives.

Gerry Adams said:

“Our hospitals are now in the grip of a major crisis with patients languishing on trolleys, others being denied operations, while more cannot be released due to the absence of Homecare Packages.

“Chronic hospital overcrowding is leading to the cancellation of serious operations and this is now potentially endangering patients’ lives.

“New figures up to the end of January, show 76,666 patients waiting for inpatient, day case or gastrointestinal procedures - an increase of over 21,500 on last year. 

“Minister for Health Leo Varadkar admits that overcrowding is partly responsible.

“I raised this very serious matter with the Taoiseach in the Dáil this week. 

“Government policy is to massage trolley figures by shipping patients out of our hospitals and cancelling operations.

“I have had representations from citizens waiting for unacceptable periods for procedures.

“Apart from patients who can’t get surgical appointments within a reasonable time, there are others who can’t be discharged because the Government won’t provide the level of care in the home that they deserve.

“Meanwhile, twice in the last month, I raised with the Taoiseach a letter from HIQA which says that if a list of recommendations it made in 2012 had been implemented, the risks to patients would have been 'significantly reduced'.

“The Taoiseach has yet to respond adequately to me on this issue.

“The current situation in our hospitals is entirely unacceptable. The Minister for Health needs to take control of the deteriorating situation. So, far his approach has only served to make matters worse.” 

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