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Trolley Crisis is damning indictment of government – Gerry Adams TD

16 January, 2018 - by Gerry Adams

This evening Sinn Féin’s Private Members Business is focused on the crisis in our health service and in particular on the trolley crisis in Emergency Departments.

Today there are 541 patients on trolleys. Last year there was a record 98,981 patients left to spend one night or more on a trolley in hospitals throughout the state, representing the worst figures ever recorded.

When it comes to the trolley crisis four main issues need to be immediately addressed:

  • reopening closed beds
  • recruitment and retention of staff
  • adequate step down facilities
  • proper primary and community care

Sinn Fein believes that these issues can be tackled with an intelligent, coherent, and progressive plan in conjunction with the necessary political will. 

Addressing the Taoiseach in the Dáil this afternoon the Sinn Féin leader asked him when the bed capacity review will be published.

Teachta Adams said:

“In 2016 the government committed to a hospital bed capacity review. This is crucial in the context of the trolley crisis in our emergency departments. This has become so serious that last week Tallaght Hospital had to place adults temporarily in a children’s ward.

"According to the INMO Trolley Watch 98,981 admitted patients were on trolleys in 2017. This is a record figure. It is a damning indictment of the government’s health policy.

"In November we were told the bed capacity review would be published by the end of the year. Last week we were told it would be the end of this month. In the meantime, the Irish Times has carried extracts from the review. We are now told it will be brought to Cabinet later this week.

"Instead of leaking the review to the media the government needs to publish the bed capacity review so that members of this Dáil can scrutinise it.”

Notes to Editor:

A large part of the trolley crisis finds its genesis in the closure of beds in hospitals. There were approximately 862 less hospital beds in 2015 than in 2008. 

This state has the second lowest number of hospital beds in the OECD. In order to address the trolley crisis we must increase capacity in our hospitals by increasing the number of beds available and increasing the services & staffing requirements needed to operate those beds. 

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