Government must act on HIQA report

22 February 2023

Labour health spokesperson Duncan Smith has expressed deep concern at the findings of a HIQA report that highlights colossal overcrowding, significant staffing issues and huge risks to patient safety.

Deputy Smith said:

“The danger that the mismanagement of the health service poses to patients and workers alike is deeply shocking yet not at all surprising. We have seen the numbers of patients on trolley increase tenfold over the past number of months and the recent harrowing testimony of workers speaks to the crisis in the health service.

“I am very concerned that there is no plan to combat the clear and present danger severe overcrowding has for patient safety, dignity and care, as evidenced by this report. It is unacceptable that these warning signs have not been picked up by Minister Donnelly and that this growing national emergency in our hospitals has been allowed to fester.

“Hospitals are clearly overrun and understaffed.

“All we can think about when we think of the public health service is chronic understaffing, an overworked staff and a generally unsafe environment for workers and patients. This needs to end now.

“Tonight, the Labour Party will bring forward a motion in the Seanad to support all workers in the Public Health Service to address some of the issues outlined by the HIQA report. Ensuring fair support for all public health workers from porters to cleaners to administrative staff to nurses to doctors is only right.

“Due to many issues such as overcrowding and understaffing, hospital and community settings have become highly unsafe for the people in those settings – patients and workers alike. This is no way to do business.”

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