Fianna Fáil TD for Kildare North, Frank O’Rourke, has said the HSE is failing to meet its own target that all people aged 75 years and over attending emergency departments would be discharged or admitted within 24 hours.

Deputy O’Rourke was commenting as new information received by Fianna Fáil shows that 254 over 75’s waited longer than 24-hours in Naas emergency department in the first three months of 2019.

Deputy O’Rourke explained, “The issues with Naas emergency department have been long documented but I believe it is particularly shameful that some of our most vulnerable people are treated in this manner.

“Sitting for hours in an emergency department is wearying, even for a person in the full of their health. To have a person, aged over 75, sit in such an uncomfortable and stressful setting for over 24-hours is cruel.

“Let me be very clear, the medical professionals and staff in Naas are working their very hardest and the fault for this lies solely at the feet of the Department and the HSE.

“A lack of basic bed capacity is a fundamental problem in health care in Ireland and if the Minister can’t get to grips with even the basic problems, then we can expect to see thousands more over 75’s languish in emergency departments across the country”, he concluded.