News & Media

Trolley figures forgotten crisis of GE2020 campaign

7 February 2020

Statement by Alan Kelly TD
Spokesperson on Health

In the wake of this morning’s INMO Trolley Watch figures, Labour Party health spokesperson and General Election candidate for Tipperary, Alan Kelly TD has declared the crisis in our health system the forgotten issue of this election campaign.

Deputy Kelly said:

“Less than 24 hours before Ireland goes to the polls and we have 450 patients on trolleys in our hospitals, with 55 people waiting on a bed in University Hospital of Limerick, alone.

“These figures only serve to compound Fine Gael’s failings after 9 years in government, with nothing done to tackle this persistent and unrelenting issue.

“I have consistently raised the HSE’s many problems with Minister Harris and offered workable solutions, but yet again the ideology of his party has prevented any progress.

“Our health service is creaking under pressure and the only way to relieve it is serious investment.

“But it’s not just provision of additional beds that’s needed; we must also lift the current recruitment embargo and provide the extra staff necessary to cater for these patients to make Sláintecare a reality.

“Today’s Trolley Watch numbers yet again place UHL at the top of its list, with more people waiting for a bed here than anywhere else in the country.

“The crisis in this hospital is on another level and a prime example of why we need health reform in this country.

“Labour is the only party offering a multi-year solution to end the massive resourcing issue in the Mid-West that often renders people too afraid to seek the medical help they need.

“I carried out significant research comparing UHL and Beaumont Hospital, and the disparity identified was frightening. These are similar hospitals in similar sized areas, however the differential in staff numbers, including doctors, nurses and administrative staff is unprecedented.

“I have committed to ending this massive differential by investing €40 million over three years and properly catering to the needs of all our citizens, not just those living inside the M50.

“I hope that despite the lack of urgency placed on Ireland’s health crisis during this election, voters will consider giving preferences to parties who prioritise addressing and tackling this long-standing issue.”