Friday 24 November 2017

Varadkar: 'I'm ashamed that dying man had to spend his final hours on a trolley'

Joanne Moloney with a photo of her late father Eddie. Picture:Marie McCallan/Press 22
Joanne Moloney with a photo of her late father Eddie. Picture:Marie McCallan/Press 22

Ciara Treacy

Health minister Leo Varadkar has said he is "embarrassed and ashamed" after a grandfather, struck by a brain haemorrhage, died after lying on a trolley in a hospital corridor for 12 hours.

Eddie Moloney (73) was rushed to University Hospital Limerick's emergency department last October where tests showed a bleed in his brain.

But he was left on a trolley for 12 hours and moved to a busy public ward with a television blaring nearby, his children told RTÉ One's 'The Big Picture - Ireland's Health Service'.

"It was chaos, it was a Friday night in the hospital," his daughter Joanne said. "There was a lot of drunk people around on trollies.

"There was a drunk man right beside my father who was so drunk that when he went to sit up on his bed, he fell off his trolley and banged into my mother, while she was trying to rub my dad's hands and talk to him."

Mr Moloney survived the night and was given a bed the next morning, but died a day later in a busy public ward with "little or no privacy".

Mr Moloney's son Paul added: "No one who spends their whole life working should go through that at the end of life and that's my whole thing as well: take care of these situations first. Before you take care of anything else in this country, the health service is absolutely at the top of the list, surely."

Mr Varadkar told the 'Claire Byrne Live' debate, which was aired after the 'Prime Time' report: "I am deeply ashamed and embarrassed if anyone has that sort of end-of-life experience in our health service. It makes me more determined to do something about it."

Irish Independent

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