Fianna Fáil General Election candidate for Galway West Cllr. Mary Hoade says patient safety is being compromised because of continuous overcrowding at University Hospital Galway. The Annaghdown based Councillor is calling on the Health Minister Leo Varadkar not to delay plans, which have already been lodged and which can proceed to design stage once the Minister signs off on them.
Cllr. Hoade explained, “The overcrowding situation at University Hospital Galway has been deteriorating steadily. Despite the best efforts of staff, who are working under extremely difficult conditions, patients at the hospital are being treated on trolleys and in settings which are not appropriate. Minister Varadkar saw the situation for himself on a recent visit to the hospital, and despite this he has still not formally approved a plan to upgrade and expand the existing Emergency Department.
“The current proposals provide for a new Emergency ward, with an additional 30 beds, which will be located in the existing physiotherapy department on the ground floor. The extra beds and space are badly needed as the situation reaches breaking point. Last month there were 469 people on trolleys in UHG. I am gravely concerned that as we head into the winter months, which are traditionally the busiest for our hospitals, the overcrowding crisis will become unmanageable.
“A series of unrealistic health budgets have led us to this dire situation. Last January Minister Leo Varadkar said he was “sick to death” of the ED overcrowding crisis. Ten months on and things are no different. The Minister cannot continue to sit back and give a running commentary. He must take action, and he can begin by approving the plan before him which will significantly expand the Emergency Department at UHG”.