Fianna Fáil TD for Galway East Anne Rabbitte says overcrowding at the Emergency Department of University Hospital Galway has become completely unsustainable. Last week it was reported that 250 patients presented at the unit in a 12 hour period.
Deputy Rabbitte commented, “The level of overcrowding at the Emergency Department at UHG has reached epidemic levels and is now completely unsustainable. The fact of the matter is the current unit is completely unsuitable to deal with the demand that is being placed on it. Unfortunately it is no longer uncommon for very ill and frail people to be forced to wait for hours on plastic chairs before even being seen by a doctor.
“The trolley situation is also out of control, with the bulk of patients now being treated in cramped corridors and halls with no privacy and little dignity. This is shameful, and despite the problem being highlighted regularly, nothing is being done by the Government to address it.
“University Hospital Galway needs a new Emergency Department. The existing one is simply not fit for purpose. Frontline staff are working in unacceptable conditions; their jobs are already extremely pressurised, but they are being further exacerbated by the appalling work environment.
“UHG is the main hospital serving the West and is understandably busy. However conditions there have deteriorated drastically over the past few years. The hospital has been starved of investment and this needs to change. Funding for a new ED department must found and the project must be fast tracked. The current situation is simply not sustainable and lives are being put at risk”.