Irish Medical Organisation

Trolley figures already surpassing 100,000 shows the depths of crisis

The Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) says that the news that trolley figures have exceeded 100,000 already for 2018 shows the depth of the crisis facing the country’s health service.

The record-breaking figure has been reached with a month left in the year, with the IMO warning that things will not get better in the short-term.

The IMO says that early indications show that the HSE’s Winter Action Plan will be “too little, too late”.

Dr Peadar Gilligan, the President of the Irish Medical Organisation, says that the fact that 100,000 people have spent significant time on trolleys in Irish hospitals this year is shameful.

“100,000 patients in Ireland experienced an overnight wait for a ward bed on trolleys or chairs in crowded Emergency Departments already this year. A larger number than ever by this time of the year.

“When will this national disgrace be definitively addressed? When will our Government stop telling us it cannot be addressed overnight?. 
“Trolley waits in Ireland have been a patient care issue for two decades.

“When will the suffering of patients and staff be addressed with adequate bed capacity and staffing levels?

“Judging on the information released thus far, the HSE’s winter plan will not in any way improve the severely damaged morale amongst doctors and frontline staff, nor will it attract staff to work in a public health service that has no capacity, no supports and that is under constant pressure.

“While any extra funding is welcome, this plan will not help us avoid the kind of overcrowding which we have seen in recent winters.

“Overall, this plan fails to address the root causes of the problems facing our health service.”

Dr Gilligan warned that if the challenges are not met, 100,000 people on trolleys a year will not just become the norm, it will become the baseline.

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