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2018 breaks all records as over 100,000 people are left on trolleys - Louise O'Reilly TD

28 November, 2018 - by Louise O'Reilly TD

Sinn Féin health spokesperson Louise O’Reilly TD has said that the figures released by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation that show the number of patients on trolleys has exceeded 100,000 this year – the first time since records began – reinforces the extent of the recruitment and retention and capacity crisis in the health service.

Speaking this afternoon, Teachta O’Reilly:

“The trolley crisis has been continuously escalating under Simon Harris’s tenure as Minister for Health. Last year saw the largest number of patients on trolleys in recorded history and at that time the government claimed they would do everything to resolve the crisis and its causes.

“Their efforts to resolve this crisis have been absolutely derisory – they have failed and proof of this comes from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation who reported today that the total number of patients on trolleys has exceeded 100,000 this year – the first time since records began.

“The government have had nearly 8 years to address the problems of the trolley crisis and overcrowding, however, year on year the crisis gets worse.

“Minister Harris has failed to deal with the issues that are causing this emergency. These are the issues of recruitment and retention of staff, capacity - failure to reopen closed beds, adequate step down facilities, and proper primary and community care.

“As with the housing crisis, the government think that their policies are working for the health service but, they are completely failing and that failure is having a devastating impact on people’s lives.

“In order to deflect from their ineptitude and mismanagement of the health service they have tried to blame hardworking nurses and doctors for the crisis, but people know the buck stops at the desk of the Minister for Health.

"This crisis is not seasonal, it is all year round, and it is putting lives at risk as experts say that patients on trolleys can contribute to around 300/350 fatalities annually.

“The crux of this issue is the recruitment and retention crisis and the government need to engage with unions to address the systemic problems in the health service which have been causing a recruitment and retention crisis amongst health workers of all professions and grades in order to have a meaningful impact in getting patients off trolleys."

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