1,022 people on Trollies in UHL in March ‘a national scandal’ – Quinlivan
Speaking today after the release by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation INMO trolley Watch figures for March, Sinn Féin TD for Limerick City Maurice Quinlivan said:
“This is a national scandal and it’s simply not acceptable. It’s time to stop the spin and for the Government to get a handle on the appalling situation in UHL emergency department. The figures are startling an increase from a high figure of 699 in March 2017 to an incredible figure of 1,022 this March. This is truly appalling.
“Unless the government change tack and listen to the positive proposals from opposition parties, the crisis will continue into the future.
“There are many solutions ranging from ensuring increased 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 all these will help.
“However, two key issues need to be addressed as a priority. Firstly, to tackle the issue of capacity in UHL hospital, we need to start reopening all hospital beds closed during the austerity years in the region including those in Nenagh, Ennis, and St. John’s hospitals.
“Then secondly, in order to address the recruitment and retention crisis across all grades in the health service, the underlying difficulties causing this crisis have to be tackled. These issues are working conditions, facilities, supports, training opportunities, promotion opportunities, and pay.
“In order to achieve this, the Government need to establish a commission on pay in the health service for medical professionals and healthcare workers.
“While urgent measures are needed in the short term to address the trolley crisis, we also need to move to addressing systematic problems in the long term.
“I believe that this can be done if we have the political will to fully implement progressive alternatives.
“The situation cannot continue with these shocking figures. If 1,022 people on trolleys in Limerick University Hospital is not a wake-up call for this government, one wonders when they will act decisively and intervene. This is not sustainable these are real people on trollies and I want to commend the staff who have to work in these very difficult circumstances.
“Fine Gael has been in government for the past seven years, and Ireland has had the fastest growing economy in the EU for the past four years, so it is not credible to say the resources aren’t there, or it’s not their fault. Accountability for this mess lies firmly with Fine Gael. They need to act urgently, stop the spin and tackle the trolley crisis in Limerick.”