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Senator Gavan demands action on University Hospital Limerick crisis

20 July, 2016 - by Paul Gavan

Sinn Féin Senator Paul Gavan, speaking in the Seanad this week, raised the alarming issue of patients in University Hospital Limerick having to wait up to five days to receive access to a ward.

Senator Gavan expressed his support for those working in such difficult circumstances, as well as his deepest sympathy for those patients enduring such poor conditions. He concluded by demanding the Minister for Health come into to the Seanad as a matter of emergency to address the situation.

Senator Gavan said:

“This is a ludicrous level of chaos. Last week there were 149 patients on a trolley in University Limerick Hospital, this morning there are 32 patients lying on a trolley. Patients walk into A&E and are met with a sign telling them there will be an eight hour wait before they’ll see a doctor.

“One man last week was asked to stand where his wife’s trolley had been in a corridor, in order to protect her space while she was wheeled away for tests. The scene was described to me as akin to a war zone, with bodies on trolleys filling every corridor. One patient, a neighbour of mine, waited from Friday until the following Wednesday night to access a ward.

“Both the safety of the patient and the staff in the Hospital are being put at risk. SIPTU and the INMO are planning to ballot for industrial action because of the ongoing concerns over reduced staffing on medical and surgical wards. I want to put on record my admiration for all staff working in such arduous circumstances on a daily basis.

“Families are terrified of going to this hospital and they shouldn’t have to feel that way. They are genuinely worried in regards to how long they’ll have to wait to be treated and that is a failure of the state. I’m demanding that the Minister of Health come into the Seanad to deal with this issue as a matter of urgency.”  

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