Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Health, Stephen Donnelly TD, has said the HSE is failing to meet its own target that all attendees aged 75 years and over attending Emergency Department’s would be discharged or admitted within 24 hours.

Deputy Donnelly was commenting as new information received by Fianna Fáil shows that 4,349 over 75’s waited longer than 24-hours in an emergency department in the first three months of 2019.

He explained, “The bar was set very low when the target was introduced by the HSE, and yet it has been missed literally thousands of times. These figures are disgraceful and despite the fact that they have decreased on previous years, it’s still not acceptable to have some of our most vulnerable people treated in this manner.

“Sitting for hours in an A&E 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 further compounding their ill-health.

“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, three years into his tenure, then we are going to see thousands more over 75’s languish in A&E’s across the country”, he concluded.