19 January 2006

Woman on trolley for eight days in Tallaght hospital

Sinn Féin

Published: 18 January, 2006

Dublin South West Sinn Féin TD Seán Crowe has said the Táinaiste and Minister for Health Mary Harney has failed to grasp the fundamental issues at the heart of the crisis in our hospitals. Deputy Crowe, speaking after the Irish Nurses Organisation revealed that a record 422 patients were on trolleys awaiting admission to hospital wards yesterday and after speaking to a personal friend today who told him that she has been on a trolley for eight days now in a serious condition in Tallaght hospital, said “the world and its mother can see that what is needed is a capital investment programme for our hospitals to provide more beds and additional staff.”

“Today I received a call from a personal friend of mine who informed me that she has been on a hospital trolley in Tallaght hospital for the last eight days. This woman is in a serious condition with a blood clot on her lung, a suspected blood clot in her leg and with serious heart problems. She informed me that there has been up to fifty people on trolleys each day in Tallaght for the last eight days with only two working toilets and two working showers and there is little or no privacy for patients.

“The INO reported that the numbers of patients on trolleys yesterday equalled the highest ever total at 422. It is now four years since the INO first highlighted the problem of overcrowding in our hospitals and the Government are still talking about the same solutions to the problem that they were talking about back then. The Health Service Executive said around this time last year that things would be better by April 2005. The reality is that a year later, they are as bad, if not worse.

“The world and its mother can see that what is needed is a capital investment programme for our hospitals to provide more beds and additional staff. Tallaght hospital is ideally situated for an extension with acres of land available on site available to be built on. And money should not be a problem with an unexpected extra in tax of €2.5 billion in the Government coffers this year.

“This is in an appalling situation in our hospitals four years after the problem was first highlighted. The Minister for Health and Children Mary Harney and the HSE have obviously failed to grasp the fundamental issue at the heart of this crisis in our hospitals. To be still talking about ‘system reviews’ and ‘schematically looking at the situation’ four years later speaks volumes about the record of the HSE and on both Health Ministers that have served in that time." ENDS

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