Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Niamh Smyth has described as outrageous, the rise in the number of patients being treated on trolleys at Cavan General Hospital. The latest figures from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation reveal a 225% increase in its Trolleywatch numbers at the hospital in the last two years.
Deputy Smyth says this deterioration is a direct result of flawed Fine Gael policy and a series of bogus health budgets over the term of the last Government.
She explained, “The figures from the INMO today are truly shocking and are a damning indictment of Fine Gael’s health policy. Far from ending the “scandal of patients on trolleys”, Enda Kenny’s Government has presided over the escalation of this crisis to levels never seen before. Last month there were 117 patients on trolleys in Cavan General Hospital – an 80% increase on March 2015 and a whopping 225% rise on March 2014. This is simply not acceptable.
“There are people across Cavan and Monaghan, particularly older people, who are afraid to go to the Emergency Department at Cavan General Hospital because of the overcrowding problem – they simply do not feel safe there. Doctors, nurses and other frontline staff are going above and beyond the call of duty to care for patients but even they admit that the situation is untenable. The care and attention that they are giving their patients is second to none, but patient dignity and safety is being compromised as a result of the conditions.
“Health Minister Leo Varadkar promised 400 additional beds to help ease the crisis but my party has been informed that 90 of these beds have not come on stream. How has this been allowed to happen when the crisis is so acute? Those beds should have been made available without delay. Minister Varadkar needs to get a grip on the situation – something he has failed to do since his appointment – and must ensure that all measures to alleviate the pressure on EDs are implemented immediately”.