Irish Medical Organisation

"Hospital Overcrowding will not be solved by piecemeal actions”

“The Taoiseach and Government know well why we have this continuing crisis and also know that what is required is significant and immediate funding to improve capacity”

Tuesday 13th March 2018.  The Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) has expressed surprise at comments by the Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar in relation to record numbers of patients on trolleys and the ongoing hospital overcrowding particularly as the root causes of the problems are well known and the solutions obvious. 

Speaking today, the Vice President of the IMO and ED Consultant Dr Peadar Gilligan, said that years of neglect and underfunding has brought us to this situation  “there is nothing surprising about what is happening.  It is the inevitable outcome of years of cuts and austerity in health services and until those cuts are reversed, the situation will deteriorate and worsen. This continuing crisis is extremely distressing for patients, doctors and all other healthcare staff.  The problems in our Emergency Departments are a manifestation of the problems in the wider health service and are multi-factorial:

  1. Insufficient beds to meet patient demand in the acute sector and in the community
  2. Too few consultants to be in a position to deliver a consultant delivered service
  3. A GP service that is not resourced to deal with complex care

Dr Gilligan said “The Government’s own Healthcare Capacity Report clearly indicates that the level of beds is woefully inadequate to meet our population needs, we know we have too few doctors delivering care in our public health services yet the Government keeps on producing reports to tell us what we already know.  What is needed now is a concerted investment programme that is frontloaded and not just piecemeal investment.  Healthcare costs money and Government must face up to its responsibilities.  It cannot continue to promise better services while at the same time refuse to fund them”.

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