Fianna Fáil TD for Wicklow, Stephen Donnelly, has warned that the news of a 92-year-old woman who was left on a hospital trolley for over 24 hours is evidence that the Health Ministers efforts to end the trolley crisis have failed.
Donnelly has warned that the trolley crisis is no longer simply a seasonal issue.
“The past summer has seen all records in terms of sick people on trolleys being broken. The winter trolley crisis is no more; it’s now a year-round crisis and I have yet to see anything from Minister Harris that leads me to believe he or the HSE have a plan to fix it.”
The Fianna Fáil TD has said that Simon Harris has not succeeded to end the crisis in his two years as Minister for Health.
“While more ED nurses are being employed, this will not deal with the actual problem in our hospital system, a lack of bed capacity. There are countless wards across Irish hospitals that are not currently open. This needs to be fixed. There are excellent step down facilities that could and should be used to look after non-acute patients, but aren’t. Every opportunity to increase acute hospital capacity must be explored.”
“We have heard of positions not being filled in parts of the country designed to speed up the process of discharging patients who are well enough to go home or to a step-down facility. For people to be admitted to hospitals, others need to be discharged. It’s obvious but senior management in the HSE don’t seem to understand its importance.”
“Minister Harris needs to come before the Dáil or an Oireachtas Health Committee and outline his and the HSE’s plans for the forthcoming winter. We need an opportunity to interrogate his strategies before it gets too late,” concluded Donnelly.