The IMNO’s revelation that some 9,091 endured trolley waits last month shows that May has now become a winter month in our hospitals says Fianna Fáil Health Spokesperson, Stephen Donnelly.

“The total number recorded last month is some 403 greater than the total for last November when overcrowding was 8,688.

“When Minister Harris announced his ‘Winter Initiative’ few thought that it would result in extending the season by three months.

“With five months of the year gone almost 52,000 have now experienced the shocking overcrowding that persists in our acute hospitals – an increase of some 17% year on year. Indeed the figures for today also show an increase of 23% by comparison to the same day last year.

“The Minister for Health needs to get a grip on this before winter becomes a 12 month season. Last week in the Dáil he told me that we need to frontload new hospital beds. I agree but I’m not convinced of the Government’s capacity to deliver on this. After all, one year after the publication of the Sláintecare report we are still waiting for the Minister to publish an implementation plan.”