Statement from FF Spokesperson on Health

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Health, Stephen Donnelly, has reacted to the news that the highest ever record for people waiting on trolleys has been broken.

Deputy Donnelly was commenting as the INMO confirmed that 2019 has seen the highest number of patients on trolleys in any year since records began.

Deputy Donnelly said, „There have been 108,364 people waiting on trolleys and chairs in Emergency Departments (EDs) across Ireland in 2019. We still have another 32 days to go until the end of the year so this is going to rise further.

‚Cattle mart’, ‚war zone’, ‚bedlam’, ‚pandemonium’ – these are just some of the phrases used this week to describe the situation in EDs. What is the Taoiseach’s response? He ‚acknowledges’ the problem, he says ‚it is not unusual’ that ‚it often happens during the winter period’.

„This has never happened before. Never before have there been so many people without a bed across the Irish hospital network. It is not normal and no amount of complacent words from the Taoiseach is going to make it so.

„The INMO have been put to the pin of their collar and have now invoked health and safety laws for staff, seeking the intervention of the Health and Safety Authority and HIQA. This is not fair.

„The staff cannot do any more than they are already doing. The Minister on the other hand, could do something. He could fund GPs properly so that people can be treated in their community instead of Emergency Departments.

„He could increase capacity in EDs by increasing staffing, ending the hiring embargo, eliminating consultant pay inequality and providing better diagnostic access. He could free up hospital beds by funding home care packages and providing additional beds,” concluded Deputy Donnelly.

Fianna Fáil

Stephen Donnelly TD

Spokesperson on Health

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