Belfast Telegraph

Health Minister to appear at emergency health committee to address trolley crisis

There were 621 people waiting on trolleys across hospitals in the Republic of Ireland on Wednesday.

Minister for Health Simon Harris at the launch of a new Patient Advocacy Service at Dublin Castle.
Minister for Health Simon Harris at the launch of a new Patient Advocacy Service at Dublin Castle.

By Aine McMahon PA

The Health Minister is to appear before an emergency meeting of the Joint Committee on Health next week as the number of people on trolleys reached 621 on Wednesday.

Simon Harris and HSE Officials will attend an emergency meeting of the Committee next Wednesday to discuss the hospital trolley crisis.

Sinn Fein Health spokesperson Louise O’Reilly said: “The scale of the ongoing overcrowding crisis is of huge concern to patients, healthcare workers, and the public.

“The public health system is currently crippled by a lack of capacity and staff, and hundreds of patients are struggling to access our hospitals daily.

“It has been clear that the planning of the Minister for Health and HSE officials has failed, and the consequences are drastic with hundreds of patients stuck on trolleys for days and surgeries being cancelled at a number of hospitals across the State.

“The situation is putting the health and well being of patients and staff at risk.

“The response to the crisis by the Minister and the HSE has just not been good enough.”

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Ambulances outside Beaumont Hospital in Dublin (Niall Carson/PA)

There were 621 people on trolleys across hospitals in the Republic of Ireland on Wednesday.

This is down from a total of 760 people waiting for a bed at the start of the week, according to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (Inmo).

The hospitals with the highest levels of overcrowding on Wednesday include the University Hospital Limerick (63), University Hospital Galway (46), Cork University Hospital (43) and South Tipperary General Hospital (39).

Inmo general secretary, Phil Ni Sheaghdha, said: “The intolerable pressure placed on frontline staff and patients continues.

“The trolley crisis is not a fact of life. There are simple, accepted solutions to fix it.

“We’ve made real progress in Beaumont and Drogheda hospitals, which were often the most overcrowded until recent years.

“This is down to planned additional recruitment and planned extra capacity.

“This model has to be adopted nationally.”

PA

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