Brendan Howlin TD
Party Leader and Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Northern Ireland

Irony of Health and Safety Authority report into A&E departments

Issued : Wednesday 20 April, 2005

“The report published by the Health and Safety Authority, which reveals the serious and dire conditions in our A&E departments, makes for grim reading and highlights the need for prompt and effective action to be taken,” the Labour Party representative for Wexford, Brendan Howlin TD has said. He made his comments following the Health and Safety Authority’s report carried out at 11 hospitals including Wexford General Hospital.

“It is beyond irony that sick people face unsafe conditions in our hospitals as verified by the Health and Safety authority’s report. The situation in our hospitals has worsened considerably putting patients and staff at risk. The Health and Safety Authority report only backs up what we have been saying for some time. It is an appalling irony that sick people who need care and nurturing face unsafe conditions in our hospitals. I recently visited Wexford Hospital and was aghast to see a sign which read ‘patients sleeping’ in a corridor, this is beyond any degree of acceptable conditions in a developing country and yet, this is becoming the norm in our hospitals.

“I have raised this issue once again with Minister Harney who promised yet again to roll out the capital programme next week which would include 19-bed unit for Wexford. This must be the final countdown. If it turns out to be yet another re-announcement, which is this Government’s specialty, I will personally organise a public march on the Dail to demand the much-needed and overdue capital programme. This week alone 17 people were waiting on trolleys for treatment in Wexford General Hospital, in one day last week there were 31 sick people on trolleys. Just imagine the impact the 19-bed unit would have in the area. Instead sick people have been turned away from the hospital to seek treatment in Waterford, an hour away.

“So far, the Government has ignored the rising concerns about our A&E departments, they have ignored political parties, they have ignored nurses and they have ignored patients. The Government cannot ignore the Health and Safety Authority and must act upon any recommendations made without any delays. Our accident and emergency departments are in dire need of immediate emergency treatment.”

Brendan Howlin TDParty Leader and Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Northern Ireland


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