Worst month ever demonstrates government’s abject failure as UHL trolley crisis explodes - Maurice Quinlivan TD
Sinn Féin TD for Limerick Maurice Quinlivan has once again called on the government to declare an emergency and take immediate and decisive steps to address the overcrowding issues at UHL.
Deputy Quinlivan made his comments following confirmation that 1,735 people waited on trolleys at University Hospital Limerick in April.
This is the highest monthly figure of any hospital in the state ever.
Teachta Quinlivan said:
“Year on year, month on month and day on day, UHL consistently has the highest number of patients on trolleys.
“When Fine Gael came to power in 2011 there were 222 people on trolleys in April, this year we see an incredible 1,735 people on trolleys in April - a catastrophic failure of their policies.
“This 700% increase in numbers on trolleys shows how utterly left down the people of the midwest have been. Unfortunately, the most recent figures provided by the INMO do not bode well for the future.
“It is not good enough for the people of Limerick and the wider midwest. When you consider that these figures don’t include Saturdays and Sundays, these figures are both deeply distressing and shocking.
“Time and time again, I have raised this issue, not just with the Minister for Health but with the Tánaiste and the Taoiseach, yet still staff and patients at UHL face these unfair and challenging environments.
“These are not just figures, they are real people, people we know, often family members and many of them elderly often lingering on trolleys for hours or days.
“The Minister for Health needs to address this issue in Limerick with a specific plan for our area. As part of the solutions to address the overcrowding and trolley crisis in UHL we have long been promised a new 96-bed unit.
“While this will be very welcome it is years away, and will not help in the here and now. We need actions that will alleviate pressure today, not just in a few years’ time.
“Recent research from Britain indicates that there is one excess death for every 67 patients that stay in the emergency department for eight to 12 hours. It is believed that over 30% of patients were waiting to be discharged or admitted after waiting for more than six hours in Irish emergency departments.
“Now is the time to address the issues of capacity and overcrowding, not in a few years’ time so that staff at our hospital can operate in the best environment available. Patients must get the treatment they need in a timely fashion. They deserve no less
“Fine Gael has been in power for over 10 years and the problems of overcrowding in our hospital has demonstrated a catastrophic failure of their policies. This cannot continue.”