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Over 50,000 patients on trolleys in first months of 2018 - Louise O'Reilly TD

5 June, 2018 - by Louise O'Reilly TD

Sinn Féin health spokesperson Deputy Louise O’Reilly has said that the Trolley Watch figures released by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) show that Fine Gael are incapable of running a functioning health service.

Teachta O’Reilly said:

“For seven years now Fine Gael have presided over the complete meltdown of the Irish health service. Under their watch, hospital waiting lists have skyrocketed, the trolley crisis has reached catastrophic levels, and the recruitment and retention crisis has escalated, not to mention the numerous scandals which have occurred as well.

“The Trolley Watch figures released by the INMO for May now show that the number of patients on trolleys is surpassing 2017 levels, which in itself was the worst year since records began for patients on trolleys.

“The number of patients on trolleys in May was 9,091, which is an increase of 937 on May of last year and is highest figure ever for this summer month.

“But the May figures for this year are following a trend; in the first five months of 2017 the total number of patients on trolleys was a shocking 44,197. However, the total for the first five months of 2018 is a staggering 51,910.

“In spite of the Minister for Health’s claims that they are addressing the situation and mealy mouthed responses about the size of the health budget, the reality is he is not up to the job regardless of what funding is available to him.

“Minister Harris will be in his job as Minister for Health 24 months tomorrow, and throughout his tenure three of the biggest issues in the health service have continuously escalated– patients on trolleys, waiting lists, and recruitment and retention.

“He has essentially ignored the implementation of the Sláintecare Report, ignored the bed capacity review, and ignored Dáil motions proposing solutions to the trolley crisis, waiting lists, and recruitment and retention.

“There was a time when the Minister could have pleaded for more time to address these issues; however, that is no longer an acceptable excuse.

“As a matter of urgency moves need to be made to implement the Sláintecare report in its entirety. The opportunity to address the problems within the health service on the basis of this cross-party supported report is a once in a generation opportunity."

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