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A&E Trolley and Bed Shortages Impacting on Elective Surgery – Crowe

26 January, 2016 - by Seán Crowe TD


Dublin South West Sinn Féin TD, Seán Crowe, has described the current Accident and Emergency trolley situation as totally unacceptable saying that the cancellation of elective surgery procedures was also an integral part of the fallout relating to beds in the hospital system

Deputy Crowe said that the trolley situation was heart breaking but so too was the cancellation of life changing operations and mentioned a surgery case cancelled just this week with no notice given to the patient until he arrived on the morning for surgery

Deputy Seán Crowe said:

“Taoiseach Enda Kenny famously promised to end the scandal of patients on hospital trolleys ahead of the last election.

“The ‘Trolley Watch’ figures provided by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) regularly highlight the impact of decades of government failure to adequately provide for the sick and the vulnerable in Irish society.

“On Tuesday this week, 517 were on trolleys in hospitals across the country.

“Trolley numbers  spike, waiting lists for operations stretch sometimes into years, and vital medical staff trained at home in Ireland are leaving in droves due to poor working conditions.

“That is the current government legacy, a health system that is broken, and no plans or proposals to breathe new life into it any time soon.

“The current crisis can be boiled down to two key failings on the part of successive governments. Firstly, an extreme depth of fundamental inequality in how patients are treated, differentiated on ability to pay and location, and secondly, the sheer incapacity of the system to deal with any spike or medical outbreak, evidenced particularly in the blockages in our Emergency Departments

“The ongoing crisis in hospital emergency departments undoubtedly denies many of our citizens their right to timely access to healthcare but also impacts silently on those awaiting life changing elective surgery.

“Just this week, a Tallaght Hospital patient was informed on his arrival that he had his surgery cancelled. On a queue for years, he had worried for weeks, and like many couldn’t sleep the night before his operation. He had arranged two week leave from his employment, that couldn’t be cancelled, only to be told at the last minute, when he presented himself at the hospital that morning, that there was no bed, and crucially no surgery that day.

“Surely, something is also wrong when a system can’t tell until you literally turn up on the morning of surgery, that there is no bed assigned, no surgery available, and it has no idea when your life changing surgery might go ahead.

“That smacks of a chaotic system in severe crisis.

“The Tallaght patient is not just another number or another statistic; he is a victim and another Irish citizen that the health system has clearly failed to deliver for.” 

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