Saturday 21 April 2018

'Where is the Taoiseach?' - Enda called on to intervene in trolley crisis

Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Photo: Tony Gavin
Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Photo: Tony Gavin

Eilish O’Regan

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny has been called on to intervene to try to alleviate the trolley crisis as 520 patients waited for a bed.

Fianna Fail spokesman on health, Billy Kelleher asked today:”Where is the Taoiseach?”

He said Health Minister Simon Harris is proving himself “incapable of dealing with the immediate, and current, hospital overcrowding crisis

"The Taoiseach has previously made much of his hands on approach to ensuring progress in the health system."

Deputy Kelleher was commenting following the release of the daily Trolley Watch figures from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation which showed 520 people were lying on trolleys this morning in Emergency Departments and hallways.

“I don’t make this call lightly. More than a fortnight ago, we heard from the Minister that he had a plan, and that it would work.

Patients lying on trolleys would be hard pressed to see any evidence of Minister Harris’ promised improvements.

“Minister Harris must come before the Oireachtas and explain in detail, hospital by hospital, how he, his Department and the HSE are seeking to resolve the crisis.

“If additional funding is needed, over and above the existing 2017 health budget, the Minister needs to come to Dáil Éireann, and seek cross-party support for it, with the necessary detail.

“Fianna Fáil have made repeated calls for the opening up of additional step-down facilities that could be used to take the burden off of acute hospitals.

“The current crisis began in September 2016, and there is no sign of it ending. Blaming it on a flu outbreak belies a complete lack of planning and preparation by the Minister. This is simply not acceptable.”

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