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11,437 people on Trolleys in UHL in 2018 ‘an utter disgrace’ – Quinlivan

2 January, 2019 - by Maurice Quinlivan TD

Speaking today after the release by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation INMO trolley Watch figures for 2018, Sinn Féin TD for Limerick City Maurice Quinlivan said that, unless the government change tack and listen to the positive proposals from opposition parties, the trolley crisis will continue into the future.

 Deputy Quinlivan said:

“Whilst the figures were expected to be high, they are still truly startling. This is a national scandal; it is both not acceptable and disgraceful. It’s time to stop the spin and for the Government to get a handle on the appalling situation in UHL emergency department. Limerick people deserve so much better than this.

“The figures are startling an increase from a figure of 1814 in 2006 when the figures were first collated to an unimaginable figure of 11,427 in 2018. This is truly appalling and shows contempt from the Government. These are people we know, often family members and many of them elderly often on trollies for hours.

“Unless the government change tack and listen to the positive proposals from opposition parties, this 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.

“While urgent measures are needed to address the trolley crisis in the short term, 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.

“I echo comments from my party colleague Deputy Louise O’Reilly that, despite what the Government say and how they try to spin this, they have forced nurses to vote for strike action through their own failure, their own mismanagement, and their own ineptitude.

“The situation cannot continue with these shocking figures. If 11,434 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 nearly eight years now, and Ireland has had the fastest growing economy in the EU for the past number of 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.” 

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