Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Health Billy Kelleher says today’s record trolley figures are a damning indictment of this Government’s failure to effectively tackle the overcrowding problems in our health service.
The latest stats from the Irish Nurses and Midwives reveal there are 656 people waiting for a bed in hospital – that’s the highest number since records began.
“The figures released today are truly extraordinary and paint a very vivid picture of just how dire the overcrowding crisis in our hospitals has become. Despite assurances from Minister Simon Harris that this year’s winter initiative would be able to deal with the expected increase in pressure on our health system, the reality is that the plan is failing miserably”, explained Deputy Kelleher.
“The Government’s mismanagement of this issue is now being blatantly exposed. Every January we see a significant spike in trolley figures, but today’s stats are record breaking. Minister Harris and his predecessors Leo Varadkar and James Reilly all pledged to tackle overcrowding, but the reality is the situation is getting worse, not better.
“St. Luke’s Hospital in Kilkenny has 57 patients on trolleys this morning, University Hospital Limerick has 55, 45 people are waiting for a bed in South Tipperary General Hospital, while Cork University Hospital and Letterkenny University Hospital have recorded 38 and 35 people on trolleys respectively.
“We need to urgently increase the number of beds available in our hospitals to help ease the burden. According to the most recent figures, Ireland had one of the lowest numbers of acute hospital beds in the OECD at 2.4 per 1,000 of population compared with the OECD average of 3.6 per 1,000 in 2015. I want Minister Harris to ensure that the bed capacity review is published as a matter of urgency so that action can be taken”.