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Harris must address unsustainable hospital over-crowding

4 September 2017

Statement by Alan Kelly TD
Spokesperson on Health

Labour Party Health spokesperson, Alan Kelly TD, has called on the Minister for Health, Simon Harris to publish a plan to address the severe over-crowding in our hospitals.

Deputy Kelly commented:

“The latest Trolleywatch figures show that during the month of August 7,781 people lay on trolleys. This figure is the highest we have seen on record.

“Rising trolley numbers like these are not sustainable for patients, their families and the hardworking staff in hospitals around the country.

“At the very least, Minister Harris should be announcing this week his plans for the winter period. We cannot have a situation like last year where there was no plan in place for the winter flu epidemic causing crisis in our hospitals.

“We need to see a change of tact from Fine Gael, who have held the Health portfolio for seven years, because pumping an extra €500 million into our health service every year is not sustainable when we are seeing numbers this high lying on trolleys.

“Instead of lauding over tax cuts in the upcoming budget, the Taoiseach and the Minister for Health should seriously consider using that money to invest in our health services.

“There is a critical need to look at increasing the volume of home help hours. We have to ensure that community intervention teams can operate longer and consistently across the country. Our citizens deserve to be treated locally in their community instead of lying on hospital trolleys waiting to be treated.

“Those who need to use our hospitals deserve to be treated in a timely manner and provided with high quality treatment. Overcrowding in our A&Es and long waiting lists are symptoms of a system that requires better organisation and more people.”