Fianna Fáil TD for Cork North West Michael Moynihan has called on Minister Simon Harris to examine whether there are beds at Mallow General Hospital which could be used to ease the overcrowding crisis being experienced in Cork.

This week saw record breaking trolley figures, with 714 patients waiting on trolleys on Tuesday.

Deputy Moynihan explained, “Unfortunately not a day goes by when I am not contacted by families concerned about their loved ones who cannot access the health services they need in the Cork area.  The situation has gotten progressively worse over the past few years, as more and more people are being left to languish on hospital trolleys or chairs for days on end – this is no way to treat sick patients.

“The consistent overcrowding at CUH and the Mercy is having a knock-on effect on other parts of the health service – most notably on the cancellation of elective procedures.  This in itself poses problems as waiting lists are growing and people are not getting treated as quickly as they should be.

“I have constituents coming to my office, who have been diagnosed with cancer or other illnesses who are extremely distressed after having their operations cancelled.  It seems nonsensical that at a time when additional capacity is needed, there are beds closed in Mallow General Hospital.  Surely these beds could be used to alleviate the pressure? Given the chaos being experienced in the two main hospitals in the city, it seems absurd that beds are closed.  How many other beds are closed in hospitals across the county?  Minister Harris cannot lecture about addressing bed capacity while beds remain closed in our hospitals.

“We need to start thinking outside of the box when it comes to addressing the huge challenges in our health service. There are skilled staff and available theatres in Mallow General Hospital – could these not be fully optimised to ensure that patients have speedy access to treatment?

“I am calling on Minister Harris to examine whether these beds could be used to increase capacity as a matter of urgency”.