Senator Thomas Byrne has called on the Minister for Health Leo Varadkar to take immediate steps to resolve the growing trolley crisis at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda. Senator Byrne made the comments after figures released by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation show that the number of patients waiting on trolleys in the hospital is on rise.

“The latest figures released by the INMO show that resources at Drogheda Hospital are stretched to the limit. There are currently 45 patients stuck on trolleys at the hospital, the highest number outside of Dublin” said Senator Byrne.

“What we are witnessing is hard evidence of the failed health policy that the Government has pursued over the last four years. Minister for Health Leo Varadkar assured the public earlier this year that the high number of people waiting on trolleys was a temporary problem that would subside as the winter came to a close. However we are now at the height of summer and the crisis continues to escalate.

“Many of the people stuck on trolleys awaiting admission to hospital have serious medical conditions. The delay in admitting them to hospital is putting their lives at risk. They need access to healthcare that is not necessarily available in the Emergency Departments, despite the best efforts of staff on duty.

“This is an issue that I have had to raise all too often at this stage. Overcrowding in the Emergency Department at Drogheda Hospital is a far too common occurrence. Nursing and medical unions have put forward concrete proposals aimed at resolving the overcrowding crisis in our hospitals. Unfortunately the Government has ignored their advice to date.

“It is unacceptable that so many sick people are being left lying on trolleys on corridors, in emergency departments, in wards and stuffed into any spare corner available. Decisive action is needed to overcome what is a long running national crisis” said Senator Byrne.