Local Fianna Fáil TD Darragh O’Brien says last week’s record trolley figures are a damning indictment of Fine Gael’s failure to tackle the overcrowding crisis in the health service.
He’s reiterated his call for additional capacity at the Emergency Department at Beaumont Hospital.
New figures made available by the Irish Nurses Midwives Organisation (INMO) show that there were 25 patients stuck on trolleys at Beaumont Hospital on Tuesday and Wednesday last week and it’s feared that these numbers could increase further as an influenza outbreak takes hold.
Deputy O’Brien said: “Despite assurances from Fine Gael 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.
“The INMO reported record-breaking figures for the number of patients on trolleys and chairs and it’s now clear that not enough progress is being made on tackling the trolley crisis.
“The Government’s mismanagement of this issue is now being blatantly exposed. Successive Government Ministers including the now Taoiseach and Senator James Reilly, all promised to bring the situation under control but the reality is that overcrowding in our hospitals is now significantly worse, not better.
“Beaumont is the main acute hospital serving the north Dublin region, and because of population increases over recent years, is under severe pressure. I have previously called for additional capacity at the hospital’s Emergency Department – and based on the trolley numbers this week, this cannot measure cannot be implemented quick enough.
“According to the most recent figures, Ireland had one of the lowest number of acute hospital beds in the OECD. We need to see an increase in the number of beds in the health service, this is the only way the overcrowding crisis will be tackled in the long run.”