Over a thousand elderly patients were forced to wait more than 24 hours for treatment in the six emergency departments in Dublin during the first three months of this year.
This is according to information obtained by Fianna Fáil who have described the figures, which revealed over 1,300 patients aged 75+ were forced to wait over 24 hours to be treated, as “shameful.”
The party’s Spokesperson on Dublin and Dublin South West TD, John Lahart warned the Minister for Health that unless these problems are addressed immediately then more elderly people will suffer.
“In today’s day and age, I believe it is especially shameful that some of the most vulnerable people in our country continue to be treated in this manner when they have sought out medical care,” he said.
“For even the most fit and able, enduring more than 24 hours on a trolley would be a struggle.
“Forcing elderly people to tolerate such waits is indefensible.
“These are people who have likely paid tax all their working lives and should be able to expect that if they become unwell or injured in their later years, they can obtain a good standard of public health care in a reasonable time frame and in an acceptable environment.”
While acknowledging the numbers were no reflection on hospital staff, Deputy Lahart said the HSE had to do more.
“The staff and medical professionals in each of the emergency departments across Dublin are working tirelessly and around the clock to counter the despicable shortages in resources provided to these hospitals to treat patients,” he said.
“If these are the figures related to some of the country’s most leading hospitals, I dread to imagine what they must be in hospital’s elsewhere nationwide.
“The lack of bed capacity is the basis of the problems within Ireland’s health system; if the Minister, his Department together with the HSE continue to fail to get a grasp on this then we can sadly expect to see hundreds, if not thousands more vulnerable, elderly patients left to deteriorate in emergency departments”, he concluded.