Taoiseach Enda Kenny on man (91) left on trolley for 29 hours: 'Shocking example of a dysfunctionality in the system'
Published 04/11/2015 | 13:07
Taoiseach Enda Kenny has described a 91-year-old man being left on a hospital trolley for 29 hours as “a shocking example of a dysfunctionality in the system”.
In the Dáil today Mr Kenny said he couldn’t understand how an elderly person was treated in such a way.
“Who was the person responsible for leaving that person there?” he asked.
The Taoiseach was responding to questions from Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin who the health system was in a “chaotic” state.
“You must accept responsibility and the minister must accept responsibility,” he said.
During heated exchanges independent TD Finian McGrath was told to leave the chamber after shouting: “It’s outrageous and it’s happening everyday.”
Ceann Comhairle Sean Barrett told the Dublin TD to “stop putting on a show” before eventually insisting on him exiting the Chamber.
The row was based on newspaper reports today that a couple in their 90s were left for lengthy periods on A&E trolleys in Tallaght Hospital.
The 91-year-old man with advanced Parkinson’s disease was left for 29 hours, while his wife, also 91, spent more than seven hours in A&E.
In a strongly worded memo Tallaght Hospital emergency consultant Dr James Gray described the situation as “grave and dangerous”.
“It is only a matter of time before we disclose our next crowding-related death at Tallaght Hsopital while crowding is tolerated,” he said a letter to Health Minister Leo Varadkar and senior health managers.
Mr Kenny said that he agreed with the consultants assessing of the situation but questioned what was happening on the ground.
“This is a case that I just don’t understand how it can be allowed to happen to a 91-year-old. It’s up to everybody in the health service to play their part to ensure that the plan actually works,” he said.
“Surely somebody has to make a decision about medical priority to allow a 91-year-old be left on a trolley.
“I’m quite sure that over the coming weeks you’re going to get other cases brought to light that are quiet shocking.”
Mr Kenny said that he would like to hear a response from the hospital, adding: “I’m not passing the buck here.”
The Taoiseach said that money had been provided to help reduce the number of delayed discharges and that a recruitment drive was underway for frontline staff, including nurses.
“The Government put more money into the system… that was suppose to deal with the problem, it didn’t,” he said.
“If the facilities are there and the money is there is a management problem or is it exasperated because more people have to go to hospital?”