Irish Medical Organisation

Healthcare is not just for Christmas. Short term reactive planning is harming long term patient care

IMO outlines a 6 point plan for a 6-hour emergency department target time as suggested by the emergency medicine programme

The HSE’s winter service plan will not alleviate the pressure on the health service, medical professionals are warning.

The plan, published today, will only act as a temporary relief for some patients, the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) has warned. The warning comes as the IMO released its own plan (which can be found here )to achieve the 6-hour emergency department target.

The six point plan says that a maximum of a 6-hour ED visit is possible for patients, but the HSE needs to take sustained action now.

The IMO’s 6 point plan is:

  1. Increase acute bed capacity
  2. Increase access to long-term and rehab care
  3. Increase staffing levels
  4. Improve access to diagnostics
  5. Redesign emergency departments in order to maximise patient flow
  6. Provide appropriate resources for general practitioners and community care

Dr Peadar Gilligan, the President of the Irish Medical Organisation, says that the HSE must listen to medical professionals if the crisis in our hospitals is to be tackled.

“The HSE’s Winter Plan is too little, too late. As usual the winter plan ignores key issues and offers little in the way of meaningful solutions.

“In the interests of patient safety, 95% of patients should not wait longer than 6 hours from arrival at the ED until admission to a ward bed or discharge home.

“Capacity issues and difficulties accessing care right across the system manifest in the Emergency Department which is often seen as the only point of access for patients to hospital care.

“The IMO’s 6 point plan to achieving the 6-hour target in Emergency Departments in Ireland is based on the views of consultants in Emergency Medicine and on international best practice.

“We have worked around the edges of the problem for years - this 6-point plan will deliver significant results but it needs commitment, hard work and dedication from the Government.

The winter plan is a clear acknowledgement that the public hospital system is under resourced and expecting staff to work longer, harder and faster is not a sustainable solution.

“It is now time for the HSE to listen to those providing patient care and enact long term resourced plans to provide a better future for patients in Ireland.”


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