The terrible decisions of the Minister for Health since he came into office have led to the current crisis in the Mid West Regional Hospital, according to local Fianna Fáil TD Niall Collins.
For the third time this week, non-emergency patients seeking to attend the hospital have been advised to go home because of chronic overcrowding.
“This crisis is fast descending into a farce and the silence from the Minister for Health has been deafening,” said Deputy Collins.
“There were 38 people in the emergency department waiting on trollies today, which is the highest in the country. This is a definitive sign that the policies being pursued by this lame duck Minister are fast creating a national health crisis.
“The hospital authorities say the overcrowding is not down to the outbreak of any illness, which is even more of a concern. The logical explanation is that the gross mismanagement of the Department of Health budget means more and more pressure is being placed on the acute hospital system.
“Savage cuts to Home Help hours and community nursing services have contributed to more people having to attend hospital, something that Fianna Fáil warned against when these cuts were introduced. In fact Fianna Fáil, proposed to invest an additional €10 million in the Home Help hours to help elderly and infirm people keep a certain level of independence.
“Groups like Age Action Ireland and Older and Bolder have said that these cuts are colossal, potentially dangerous and in many cases, were done without notice.
“Minister Reilly needs to urgently address the problems at the MWRH, we can’t allow the farcical situation of a hospital been forced to turn away patient continue. The Minster needs to provide solutions now.”