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Drumm’s claim on beds contradicted by Drogheda Hospital debacle – Morgan

16 February, 2007

Sinn Féin TD for Louth Arthur Morgan has said he is "incredulous" at the statement of HSE Chief Brendan Drumm that additional beds are not needed in our hospital system. Deputy Morgan said Professor Drumm's statement was contradicted by the internal HSE report on Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda exposed earlier this week which showed a quarter of all medical admissions spending their entire stay in A&E.

Deputy Morgan said, "Yet again the Chief Executive of the HSE, Professor Brendan Drumm, has claimed that we do not need extra beds in our hospitals. This is totally at variance with the claim by Health Minister Mary Harney that the Government is still committed to providing up to 3000 additional beds. Either way, patients continue to suffer as neither the extra beds nor enhanced services for those with beds are in place.

"Professor Drumm's statement is contradicted, and Minister Harney's regime is indicted, by the internal HSE report revealed earlier this week which shows the shambolic state of Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda. It showed that a quarter of all medical admissions are spending their entire stay in the A&E. They are denied routine needs such as food, water and washing facilities. Most damningly, the report concludes that 'large numbers of patients are managed in a site not fit for the purpose by persons not trained for this purpose. It is a testament to staff that no fatalities have resulted to date with medical patients.'

"Additional beds, as well as additional consultants and improved conditions for nurses and other staff, are essential to address the crisis in our hospitals. Minister Harney and the HSE are failing miserably to provide these essentials as they preside over a healthcare shambles." ENDS

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