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Oireachtas briefed on Overcrowding Crisis by Healthcare Unions and Frontline Health Workers - Louise O'Reilly TD

5 December, 2018 - by Louise O'Reilly TD

This afternoon, the Oireachtas was briefed first hand on the scale of the trolley and overcrowding crisis in our Emergency Departments and Hospitals as we head deep into winter.

The briefing, organised by Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Louise O’Reilly TD, was attended by representatives and frontline healthcare workers from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO), the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO), the Irish Hospital Consultants Association (IHCA), and SIPTU.

Speaking after briefing, Teachta O’Reilly said:

“It was very important for TDs, Senators, and political staff to hear first-hand the testimony of representatives and frontline healthcare workers from the INMO, IMO, IHCA, and SIPTU regarding the trolley and overcrowding crisis.

“Those who attended painted a bleak picture of the everyday situation for patients and staff alike.

“However, they did provide us with solutions and explained how the proper management of the crisis by the government could dramatically improve the situation.

“There was unanimity at the briefing that all closed beds need to be immediately reopened and that we have to significantly increase capacity as a matter of urgency in order to cope with changing demographics.

“Those on the frontline were at pains to impress upon us that the recruitment and retention crisis is having a devastating effect on the frontline and that it is making their work almost impossible.

“The workers in our health service are demoralised and facing burn out; we heard that first hand. The reasons for this are working conditions, facilities, supports, training opportunities, promotion opportunities, and pay.

“There is a need now more than ever to listen to the representative bodies and frontline healthcare workers in order to directly target the issues which they raise as problematic for staff in our hospitals.

“The testimonies and briefings from those present were extremely powerful and they have implored us to use our positions to agitate for serious change in the health service.

“I can assure health service workers and the public that Sinn Féin will hold this government to account on their failure in health and continue to put forward practical and workable solutions to address the trolley and overcrowding crisis."

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