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Crisis in the health system is escalating with no government solution – Ó Caoláin

4 November, 2015 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD, has commented on the shocking reports of a 91-year-old man who spent 29 hours on a trolley in Tallaght Hospital.

Deputy Ó Caoláin said that this was yet further proof of the increase of overcrowding in hospitals, which is unlikely to be tackled by this government with the grossly inadequate €18 million euro additional budget funding for health in 2016.

Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

“Reports today of a 91-year-old man spending 29 hours on a trolley in Dublin’s Tallaght Hospital, while his wife was also on a trolley for nine hours is truly shocking and further proof that overcrowding continues to increase and all measures taken to date, have failed to address the critical issues of bed capacity and staffing.

“This news has emerged following a letter from Dr James Gray, an emergency department consultant, to the chief executive of Tallaght Hospital where he claimed that there were ‘grave and dangerous governance failures’.

“The situation this elderly man found himself is absolutely appalling and a clear violation of his basic human rights.

“Unfortunately this is not an isolated incident. In December 2014 a 87 year old woman spent 57 hours on a trolley and on a chair in a hall in university hospital Limerick. In June 2015 two elderly ladies, both over a hundred years old, had to suffer the indignity of spending more than 24 hours on a trolley awaiting a hospital bed. In September 2015 an elderly cancer patient spent five days on a trolley at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda.

“The crisis in the health system is escalating with Labour and Fine Gael offering no immediate or indeed long term solutions. The Government have failed to provide adequate investment to tackle this serious problem. The miserable €18 million additional Health funding in the Budget is a damning indictment of the Government's approach to the Health crisis.

“In Sinn Féin's Budget 2016 proposals we provided an additional €383m to tackle the crisis in the health system. We identified a number of areas where we would invest in both additional staff and services that have the potential to alleviate the pressures on emergency departments, in maternity units and across the disability services.

“Our health service is a shambles, one which this government has created. Urgent action must be taken to address this despicable situation.”

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