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Beaumont A&E crisis shows total failure of Government response - O'Toole

21 February, 2007

Sinn Féin Dáil candidate Cllr. Larry O'Toole, who represents much of the area served by Beaumont Hospital, has said the crisis there in recent days was a recurring one "that has been repeated year after year and shows the total failure of the Government's response to the drastic situation in A&E in our larger hospitals". He said many of his constituents were now more afraid than ever to attend the hospital because of A&E overcrowding and the threat of MRSA.

Cllr. O'Toole said, "The situation in Beaumont is a disgrace and a danger to patients. Tribute must be paid to all the staff there who are trying to cope with this crisis to the best of their ability. It is not a new crisis but has recurred year after year. To take just one example -- on 20th July 2003 there were 59 patients on trolleys and chairs in Beaumont and all non-emergency admissions were cancelled. Yet here we are three and a half years later with 52 people languishing in the same situation.

"Many of my constituents tell me they are afraid to attend Beaumont Hospital because of the chaotic state of A&E and because of the threat from MRSA. The Government response has been a total failure. The Health Service Executive has its head in the sand.

"There must be immediate intervention on the part of the Health Minister Mary Harney and HSE Chief Brendan Drumm to ensure that the additional beds needed in Beaumont and outside it in step-down facilities are provided as a matter of urgency. Throughout this area apartment blocks are springing up almost overnight yet the Government is failing to provide the care facilities so desperately needed by sick and elderly people. I will continue to campaign with this community to put this right." ENDS

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