Health Spokesperson Billy Kelleher TD has said that urgent action is needed by the HSE and the Minister for Health to address the chronic capacity issues at University Hospital Galway.
Deputy Kelleher was commenting after the management of UHG issued a full capacity warning in the Emergency Department.
“Make no bones about – a capacity warning in September is a terrible precursor to a difficult winter for the Irish health service.
“Excessive numbers of people lying on trolleys awaiting admittance is a direct result of limited capacity in the hospital’s wards.
“Until Minister Harris brings forwards costed, detailed plans to increase bed capacity across the health service, but in particular in UHG, we will continue to see sick people on trolleys.
“Dangerously long assessment and treatment times have become the norm over the past seven years in Irish hospitals.
“It’s not acceptable. The weather is relatively fine right now. What will happen if a major flu pandemic takes hold over the winter months?
“If EDs in hospitals such as UHG are already swamped in September, what will it be like in January?
“I am very concerned at this stage of the year, and Minister Harris has done little to give me any confidence in his plans to address the serious waiting times in our EDs,” concluded Kelleher.