Patients on trolleys must not be normalised - Louise O'Reilly TD
Sinn Féin health spokesperson Deputy Louise O’Reilly has said it is completely abnormal for a health service to have 532 patients on trolleys.
Speaking this afternoon, Teachta O’Reilly said:
“Today, we had the reports from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) that there were 532 patients on trolleys in hospitals throughout the State.
“Over the past number of weeks, the volume of patients on trolleys has been extremely high, marked by the 631 patients who were on trolleys at the start of the month.
“Today the number has reached 532 patients on trolleys.
“The highest number on trolleys is again in University Hospital Limerick, a hospital where staff have contacted the Minister for Health and TDs to inform them of an 'ecosystem of chaos' at the hospital.
“Many hospitals around the State, like Limerick, are in constant state of overcrowding with countless patients waiting for beds daily.
“Fine Gael have had nearly eight years to address this crisis, to open closed hospital beds, to build new hospital beds, and to hire and retain more staff – but they have completely failed to do this.
“In the last decade, there has been a decrease of over 1,100 beds in our hospitals, mainly due to a lack of nurses and doctors to staff them.
"These beds need to be identified and additional staff need to be recruited in order for the beds to be re-opened.
“While we wait for new wards and hospitals to be built, we need to see immediate movement on the reopening of all closed beds in our hospitals and we need action on addressing the recruitment and retention crisis affecting our nurses and doctors. If this is not done then patients will be left on trolleys and their safety will continue to be put at risk.”