Why the hospital Trolley Crisis isn’t a perfect storm but an ongoing emergency
Anti-Austerity Alliance spokesperson on Health,Mick Barry TD (Cork North Central), has said that the Winter Initiative launched by Minister Simon Harris has failed as 612 people are stuck on trollies in hospitals across the country.
He said that Minister Simon Harris’ claim that the crisis is the result of a ‘perfect storm’ was a ‘self-serving excuse’ when this crisis was inevitable due to the closure of hospital beds and lack of political will to staff and re-open them.
The Cork North Central TD who is a member of the Oireachtas Committee on the Future of Healthcare said that the crisis showed the failure of the model which has been pursued by numerous governments.
He called for the creation of an Irish National Health Service which is fully funded and free at all points of access.
Mick Barry TD AAA Health Spokesperson
Mick Barry TD said “The Ministers’ Winter Initiative has failed as was predicted by medical unions. The IMO described the €40m as a ‘drop in the ocean’ compared to what was needed and the INMO said that it would fail without extra staff. There is a staffing crisis across the whole health service from nursing staff to GPs. Both predictions have unfortunately come true and patients are paying the price across the country.
“There are 612 people on hospital trollies across the country which is a new record. In Cork University Hospital there are 33 people languishing in corridors.
“Minister Harris is trying to say that this is the result of a so-called ‘perfect storm’ but in reality the crisis in our health service is an ongoing national emergency. At this time every year there is a spike in hospital admittances, but the trolley crisis is consistent all year round with the record being smashed numerous times in the last year.
“In submissions to the Committee on the Future of Healthcare the INMO has said that due to cuts and lack of staff there has been an effective loss of 2,000 public hospital beds. Ireland lags towards the bottom of OECD countries when it comes to beds having only 2.8 per 1,000 population compared to an average of 4.8 per 1,000. This is the reason why we have overcrowding – beds have been closed and there aren’t enough staff or funding to re-open them.
“Hospital nurses have voted by 90% in favour of taking industrial action because of the staff shortages, bed shortages and working conditions which they face and they have our full support.
“This is a national emergency and should be declared as one.
“We need a fully funded public health service to solve this crisis, an Irish NHS. The health model which has been built by numerous governments has failed spectacularly.”