Irish Medical Organisation

IMO criticises INMO proposals on overcrowding in Emergency Departments

IMO criticises INMO proposals on overcrowding in Emergency Departments

•             Consultants and their teams provide care to patients 7 days a week and 365 days a year but inadequate capacity in terms of insufficient numbers of hospital beds and inadequate numbers of Doctors working at Consultant level are contributing to overcrowding.

•             The key to progress is hiring more consultants and restoring beds that have been closed. If there are insufficient  beds to put patients  in then we will continue to have crowded Emergency Departments and crowded wards. The solution is the provision of acute hospital beds and the recruitment of the staff to care for patients.

Monday 4th September 2017. The Irish Medical Organisation has described proposals put forward by the INMO to tackle the crisis in Emergency Departments as “blaming the wrong people yet again”.  Speaking today, Dr. Peadar Gilligan, Chairman of the Consultants Committee of the IMO said that a suggestion by the INMO to roster hospital consultants over 7 days to deal with waiting lists was blaming Consultants for the lack of capacity in the system. The hospital doctors of Ireland are weary of being blamed for trying to deliver care in an under resourced system.  He said; “there is a manpower crisis in our hospitals as it is and as many as 400 consultant posts cannot be filled.  So, in that context, the notion of stretching very limited resources even further when we are struggling as it is nonsense.”

Dr. Gilligan said that any response which failed to acknowledge that the key factor in the ED crisis, was the withdrawal of 1,600 beds from the system over recent years and the inability to recruit consultants and other medical staff, was missing the point.   He said; “we know what has caused this situation and we know that it is getting worse as our population ages and more and more elderly people present with chronic conditions.”

Dr. Gilligan said that the debate on solutions must be grounded in objective analysis.  The Emergency Department taskforce has been in operation for the past two years, the Task Force must accept the fundamental problems and seek the necessary resources to fix them rather than throwing up smokescreens which will not help patients and will not deliver change otherwise matters are only going to get worse.  The solution lies in undoing the disastrous decisions of recent years which have forced consultants and their trainees  to emigrate and which led to the widespread closure of desperately needed beds in hospitals.”


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