Fianna Fáil TD for Galway East Anne Rabbitte is laying the blame for the latest surge in trolley figures firmly at the door of the Government, and successive Fine Gael Health Ministers.  The latest data from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation reveals a shocking increase in the number of patients being treated on trolleys in University Hospital Galway’s Emergency Department.

The stats show that 671 patients were treated on trolleys in the hospital ED in May 2017 – up a whopping 92% from 349 in May 2016.

Deputy Rabbitte said, “The year on year increased recorded by the INMO is startling.  The numbers have practically doubled, and yet the available space and staff numbers remain the same.  This is scandalous.

“The Emergency Department at UHG has been hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons over the past few years, and despite constant pleas from staff, patients groups and local TDs including myself, for a brand new ED to be built, we are still waiting for funds to be released for the design stage of the department.

“The ED at Galway is consistently one of the most overcrowded in the country, with full capacity protocols being implemented on an almost weekly basis.  The figures from the INMO are a stark reminder of the scale of the situation that frontline staff are confronted with every day.  It is simply cruel to subject patients and staff to the indignity which they are currently experiencing.

“The existing Emergency Department is unfit for purpose and we need to see a conscious effort from Minister Harris and his Cabinet colleagues to properly address the crisis at UHG.  He needs to outline what progress has been made on the new department since he announced funding earlier this year.  We cannot wait indefinitely for movement on this issue – if the money has been earmarked, it needs to be drawn down so that construction on a new department can begin without delay”.