High trolley figures a direct result of Minister's failure to prepare – Maurice Quinlivan TD
Sinn Féin TD for Limerick City, Maurice Quinlivan, has called on the Minister for Health to do more for patients in the Mid-West following the latest Trolley Watch figures.
Teachta Quinlivan said:
“Today, we have news of 74 patients being treated on trolleys in University Hospital Limerick (UHL). This is 50 patients more than any other hospital in the state.
"The need to be treated on a trolley in a hallway should be the exception, but unfortunately for many years in UHL, it has almost become the norm.
"The capacity issues at the hospital are neither the staff nor the patients making. Yet, they are the ones who suffer with the loss of privacy, dignity and in many cases not proper care. Proper care cannot be delivered in very crowded situations with inadequate staffing.
“These figures should not be a surprise to Minister Stephen Donnelly or his Department. This is not some unexpected upturn.
"We knew winter was coming, we knew the Covid19 pandemic would impact capacity and we knew that it had the potential to impact staffing numbers.
"This fear was born out last week when at least 161 staff members across the Limerick and Ennis hospital had to stay home due a Covid19 outbreak. These are things we knew yet the government seems to have been either unwilling or unable to respond to these pressures.
"The government cannot ignore that we have a health crisis, particularly here in UHL. We have a capacity problem and yet there are still no concrete plans for the delivery of the necessary number of beds and staff to our health services.
"This is being born out by the data - 74 admitted patients waiting for beds and huge delays in elective procedures is evidence of this crisis.
“We have heard from people about the difficulty in getting the flu-jab. This will only add to the numbers attending the hospital. A rise in flu numbers coupled with the pandemic will spell disaster for our hospital and its staff.
"If we continue this wayward path with regards to the health service, we will fast approach a point of near complete collapse.
“Despite warnings, the Minister has failed to prepare. Is he now prepared to stand by and watch whilst patients and staff to be failed by our health service?"