Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Health, Stephen Donnelly has said the Minister needs to ensure an emergency action plan is put in place immediately to deal with the unsafe situation which is developing in A&E’s across the country.

Deputy Donnelly said the Minister for Health appears to be unaffected by the ever increasing INMO trolley figures which today reached the highest figure ever recorded.

He said, “The Minister must be immune to the daily trolley figures which in recent months are breaking all kinds of records. If he wasn’t he would act on the request of the INMO to adopt a major incident protocol across the country.

“Immediate action includes cancelling elective surgery and ending non-emergency admissions therefore increasing bed capacity. This is the first step. A turbo-charging of hiring staff to counteract the nonsensical recruitment pause which has been in place is also necessary.

“Listening to reports today from the various hospitals which are bursting at the seams it is clear that the level of care people are getting once they enter the system is fantastic. The sole reason for this is the doctors and nurses who are turning up for work and providing the best level of care they can even though they are being put in horrendous situations. It’s not safe for them and it’s not safe for patients.

“People are sick of hearing this is down to the winter and flu season. This is entirely predictable, it’s winter all year in the Irish health service,” concluded Deputy Donnelly.