Silence from Minister for Health on trolley crisis unacceptable

08 February 2022

Labour’s health spokesperson Duncan Smith said the Minister for Health can no longer ignore the trolley crisis which is rampant throughout the hospital system.

Deputy Smith said:

“I’m deeply concerned at the consistent rise in people waiting on trolleys since January of this year, reaching a record 603 people on trolleys today. The government is fast running out of excuses at this stage. Today’s trolley figures represent a failure by government to act and properly resource our health sector. People are waiting on trolleys up and down this country and it’s a dereliction of duty by the Minister of Health.

“We have had five wasted years by Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil, with nothing done to tackle persistent and unrelenting issues within the service. Enormous credit is due to our health workers, our nurses, cleaners, porters and so many other key workers across the public health service and in the private sector for their selflessness and dedication throughout this unprecedented crisis.

“However, with trolley figures returning to a post-pandemic high of 603 this morning, these workers are now facing into the arduous task of providing care to those who need it most with extraordinarily limited resources. The only way to relieve it is serious investment. It’s not just the provision of additional beds that’s needed – we need to recruit additional staff to cater for these patients and take some of the pressure off our workers.

“If this government was serious about delivering on the system change proposed within Sláintecare, we would see serious investment in our primary care capacity that would pave the way for the health reform needed in this country. There is no vision for community based primary care and moving treatment outside the acute hospital setting. We need to move to a model of preventative care in this country to stop people falling through the cracks in the health system or languishing on trolleys in our hospitals.”

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