The news that our hospitals have endured their worst March ever for overcrowding is evidence of the outgoing government’s failure on health says Fianna Fáil Health spokesperson, Billy Kelleher.

More than 9,000 people had to spend time on trolleys during March 2016, a 5% deterioration on the same month in 2015 and a 44% increase on 2015.

Deputy Kelleher said: “A hundred beds promised by the Minister are still not in use. He says he just can’t get the staff but he should not have made the promise if he couldn’t deliver.

“The failure of the Minister for Health to provide what is necessary to ease Emergency Department overcrowding is yet another example of the spin before substance which has been the fundamental characteristic of the government’s health policy for the past five years.

“On top of this he approved a HSE Service Plan for 2016 that has a €100 million funding shortfall for hospitals. He also rejected the HSE request in its Budget submission for more critical care beds.

“The truth is that the situation in our Emergency Department’s is just as bad, if not worse, as it was this time last year.  There were more than 500 on trolleys this morning just as there were yesterday morning. One year after the fanfare of the publication of the Emergency Department Taskforce Plan the situation remains as dire as ever.”