Call for action on Connolly crisis

by Gazette Reporter
0 comment

In the wake of revelations that over 600 people were left waiting on trolleys in hospitals throughout the country in early January, Minister for Health Leo Varadkar said: “The current situation with emergency department overcrowding can’t go on.”
Cllr Natalie Treacy (SF) called on Minister Varadkar to take serious action to address the numbers of patients on trolleys in Connolly Hospital.
“[At the time of writing) there are 41 patients waiting for admission to Connolly Hospital. This is very worrying because we are now entering a period when hospitals see increased amounts of patients due to the time of year. If the system cannot cope now, it doesn’t look well for the rest of the year.”
Deputy Ruth Coppinger (SP) responded to this saying: “The current crisis in the hospitals is the result of cut backs in the health budget. [Minister Varadkar’s] proposal of moving trolleys into wards and asking nurses to put the shoulder to the wheel for a few weeks will not solve anything.
“That the Minister is now asking nurses to pick up the slack and get him out of a hole is ironic considering this Government have slashed nurses wages. Acceptance by nurses’ of any temporary emergency measure, could only be countenanced if there was a written agreement to reverse all health cuts and bed closures. This could be paid for through progressive taxation which taxes the massive wealth that there is in this country and tackling tax avoidance by multinationals and big business.”
Minister Varadkar responded saying: “I acknowledge the difficulties which the current surge in activity is causing for patients, their families and the staff who are doing their utmost to provide safe, quality care in very challenging circumstances.
“What is likely to make hospitals very unsafe is Deputy Coppinger’s outrageous repeated call for work-to-rules and general strikes this month. This will be further pressure on the EDs in question and put patients at risk of serious harm.
“Deputy Coppinger will be fully aware that I secured an additional €3m last December and an additional €25m in 2015 to address delayed discharges.
“In fact she voted against it in the Dail which is totally hypocritical. This initiative, coupled with efficiencies which must continue to be sought within hospital services, will enable patients to move from acute or transitional care into long-term care or to return home with appropriate supports.”
He went on to say that patients awaiting these options account for a large portion of overcrowding numbers.
“For the first time in seven years we have seen a modest increase in the budget for health. As always Deputy Coppinger’s solution to every problem is more taxes. If tax and spend was the solution to our problems in health they would have been solved long ago.
“There are lots of different factors that contribute to overcrowding and reasons will vary from hospital to hospital and therefore the precise measures to be taken will also vary.
“ Therefore I am convinced that the only way that this can be addressed is through local leadership and management, as well as more resources.”

Related Articles