Record trolley figures indicate beginning of new crisis

06 October 2021

Reacting to the news that 467 people are currently on hospital trolleys today, Labour health spokesperson Duncan Smith said that the high trolley numbers suggest the beginning of a new health crisis. Highlighting the many efforts made by frontline workers during the pandemic, Deputy Smith said many of these workers are moving from one crisis to the next without any break. 

Deputy Smith said:

“It’s only October but it looks like today is the beginning of a new crisis in our hospitals with 467 people on trolleys today. Rising trolley numbers like these are not sustainable for patients, their families and are particularly challenging for the hardworking staff in hospitals around the country.

“This year should have been different. We should have learned lessons from the pandemic to better prepare hospitals for the predictable rise in illness this time of year. People get sick every year, this is not a new phenomenon. The HSE just fail to prepare adequately and leave staff on the ground to deal with and bear the brunt of the consequences.

“I would urge the Minister to work with the HSE to devise a credible plan to deal with stresses within our hospitals. We need to ensure that people who need care are treated with dignity and that the hardworking staff who care for them are supported and have enough resources at their hands.

“Today, we will launch Labour’s Alternative Budget which will reiterate our calls to nationalise two private hospitals. This would guarantee that we have the beds we need to meet the winter crisis we know we will face. We have just emerged from a Covid crisis, we can’t now enter a trolley one.”

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