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7,700 over 75s forced to wait over 24 hours in Emergency Departments this year - Louise O'Reilly TD

7 August, 2019 - by Louise O'Reilly TD

Louise O'Reilly TD PQ re over 75's ED waiting times

Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Louise O'Reilly TD has said the health of older patients is being put at further risk as figures released by the HSE showed 7,700 had to wait over 24 hours for care in Emergency Departments in the first six months of the year.

Speaking today, Teachta O'Reilly said:

“Figures released to me by the HSE have shown that in the first six months of the year 7,700 patients over the age of 75 had to wait over 24 hours for treatment in Emergency Departments around the State.

“Limerick University Hospital had the highest number of elderly patients waiting, with 955 in the first half of the year. Galway University Hospital also struggled with 854 waiting and Dublin’s Mater Hospital had 793.

“Older patients are often among the most vulnerable people in our hospitals due to their age and the additional medical needs that can sometimes accompany aging. Their being treated urgently prevents escalation of injury and ensures safety and swift treatment.

“If the next six months go the same way as the first, then 2019 will be the first year ever that over 15,000 older patients have had to wait these excessive times for treatment.

“The staff in our hospitals do an amazing job and they are doing more with less resources; they are treating more patients than ever even though there is a recruitment and retention crisis across all areas of the health service.

“The solution is more capacity, more staff, and the implementation of Sláintecare; however, the government are damaging capital projects across the State due to the children’s hospital overspend, they have implemented a recruitment ban in the health service, and they appear to have no interest in implementing Sláintecare."

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