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Minister for Health must take emergency action to halt worsening crisis at University Hospital Waterford – Cullinane

8 June, 2016 - by David Cullinane TD

Sinn Féin TD David Cullinane has demanded that Minister for Health Simon Harris take emergency action to halt the worsening crisis at University Hospital Waterford.

Deputy Cullinane made the call following a HSE response to a parliamentary question which shows a dramatic increase in the cumulative trolley count at University Hospital Waterford in the first nine weeks of 2016 when compared with the same period last year.

Speaking from Leinster House this evening, he said:

“These shocking figures highlight a critical issue of capacity at University Hospital Waterford. The worsening crisis at the hospital, which is placing patient safety in jeopardy, is a direct result of Fine Gael's disastrous health policy. The Minister for Health Simon Harris TD must now take emergency measures to increase capacity at UHW in line with the fact that emergency department attendances have been increasing year on year with the dire situation now reaching a clear tipping point.

“Minister Harris cannot stick his head in the sand and pretend that this not happening. The figures are frightening because they represent people who are being denied an acceptable quality of care because of a disastrous approach implemented by Fine Gael over the last five years. 

“We now need an intervention on the part of the Minister which addresses the immediate problem of capacity at the hospital. The proposed increase of 8-10 beds for the coming winter shows a complete failure to appreciate the scale of the chaos gripping the hospital today.

“We need to massively increase capacity at University Hospital Waterford. We are staggering from one crisis to the next.

“It would be absolutely scandalous if Minister Harris refused to act on what is clearly a grave and immediate problem at the heart of the health crisis here in Waterford.

“The current situation is a danger to patients, unfair on frontline hospital staff and a damning indictment of Fine Gael's stewardship of the Health Service in this state.”

Note: See attached the PQ in question 

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