News & Media

Harris must publish winter hospital plan

5 November 2019

Statement by Alan Kelly TD
Spokesperson on Health

Responding to INMO trolleywatch figures for today, which show 679 patients on trolleys, Labour Party Health spokesperson Alan Kelly TD, has said the trolley trends are worrying and we need to see real proposals from Minister Harris this week.

Deputy Kelly said:

“Today 679 patients are on trolleys, this is the highest trolley count for 2019 so far.

“If trolley numbers are this bad on a fairly innocuous Tuesday, where there is no sign of bad weather or the worst of any winter viruses have yet to appear, what are the trolley numbers going to be like in the depths of winter?

“For weeks now I have been calling for Minister Harris to publish the winter initiative plan. This type of pattern cannot be allowed to continue over the coming months. We need to see serious action matched with adequate funding from the Minister.

“We still haven’t seen plans for how the Government plan to boost bed capacity during the difficult winter months.

“Not only do sick patients deserve better, but hardworking frontline staff cannot endure another winter of discontent in our hospitals.

“We cannot continue to become desensitised to trolley numbers. These continuing depressing figures are staggering and show how Fine Gael’s health policy is continuing to fail our sick and vulnerable citizens.”