Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Health Billy Kelleher has called on the Minister for Health Leo Varadkar to immediately intervene to address overcrowding crisis at Dublin’s hospitals.

New figures from the INMO show that there are 173 sick people waiting on trolleys in Dublin’s acute hospitals today.  There are 34 people on trolleys in St Vincent’s, 33 at the Mater, 33 at St James, 32 at Beaumont, 27 at Connolly Hospital at 14 at Tallaght Hospital.

Deputy Kelleher commented, “Unfortunately today’s figures have become all too familiar.  In recent months the trolley figures are consistently breaching the 500 mark nationally. The situation is particularly dangerous in Dublin with the acute hospitals clearly under unsustainable pressure.

“How bad does this have to get before the Minister intervenes? At the moment there are 173 sick people lying on trolleys on corridors, in emergency departments, in wards and stuffed into any spare corner available in Dublin hospitals. Not only is it extremely undignified and uncomfortable for those patients, it’s a major safety hazard as many are hooked up to drips and other machines which the staff have to manoeuvre around.

“This crisis isn’t just affecting the hundreds of people waiting on trolleys. It’s effecting the thousands more who are being forced to wait for months on end for hospital procedures. The overcrowding at Emergency Departments is having a knock on effect on hospital waiting lists across the acute hospital system. Figures released by the HSE this week show that the waiting lists for outpatient procedures have also spiralled out of control, with numbers waiting for outpatient procedures for more than a year increasing eight fold in Connolly Hospital, the Mater and St James since last year. 

“This is an extremely dangerous situation and it’s been allowed to escalate for far too long.  How can Minister Varadkar stand idly by while it is abundantly clear that there is a hospital overcrowding crisis right on his doorstep? I am calling on the Minister to immediately intervene and engage with Dublin hospital managers.  We need a comprehensive action plan to address consistent overcrowding that is putting patient and staff safety at risk.”