Government inaction on trolley crisis 'a disgrace' - Kathleen Funchion TD
Speaking amid reports that the number of patients on trolleys in St Luke’s Hospital, Kilkenny has reached 40 patients today, Sinn Féin TD for Carlow-Kilkenny Kathleen Funchion has said the inaction by this Government is ‘a disgrace.’
Deputy Funchion said;
“The latest figures from the INMO yesterday showed a record 714 patients waiting on hospital trolleys.
"While the national figure has decreased slightly today, the number of patients on trolleys in St Lukes Hospital, Kilkenny has increased to 40.
“Over the past three months the number of people on trolleys has steadily increased and shows no signs of decreasing. We cannot allow this to become normalised.
“One patient waiting on a trolley for treatment is one too many.
“Anybody in the Government who feels this is not an emergency issue reaching breaking point does not grasp the reality of the crisis in our emergency services. St Lukes Hospital is operating in crisis mode most of the time, as is the entire Health system.
“This crisis can be addressed with the political will to fully implement all of the recommendations in the Sláintecare report.
"It is a pity this Fine Gael led Government seem to completely lack the political will to do so and are happy to stand over such disgraceful figures.
“We welcome the news that Minister Harris has heeded the calls of Sinn Féin to forgo any travel arrangements he had for St. Patrick’s Day to address the trolley crisis.
“The next step now is for Minister Harris to implement the recommendations of our Private Members Business motion that was unanimously passed in January to tackle and stabilise the trolley crisis.
"Our motion sought to ensure the Emergency Department Taskforce works on a permanent basis monitoring the situation nationwide and reports on problems to be proactively tackled to increasing investment for transitional care beds, adequate step-down facilities, home care packages, and home help hours to ensure that all patients who can be moved home or to a more appropriate care setting are.
“We cannot shy away from vigorously holding the Government to account for this scandal, and we will continue to do so.”