Govt Health Policy Putting Patients At Risk - SF

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams has said that hospital patients are being put at risk by the "government's bad health policy and incompetent handling of the health service".

"No matter how hard the government tries to spin the trolley figures in accident and emergency units the fact is that last year saw a substantial increase in patients languishing on trolleys in the emergency department of Our Lady of Lourdes in Drogheda and in other units across the state," Mr Adams said.

"Figures released before Christmas by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation revealed a 4% increase in November with 7407 admitted patients on trolleys or on already full wards.

"When the figures for the January to November period are combined this shows a 24% increase over 2014. There were almost 87,000 admitted patients on trolleys.

"Not counting December these figures mean that 2015 was the worst year ever for patients on trolleys. Our Lady of Lourdes Drogheda is carrying a significant part of the burden of this.

"Today (Tuesday) Our Lady of Lourdes hospital has 31 patients on trolleys out of 558 across the state. On Monday the figure was 35 in Drogheda and 516 in the state.

"Drogheda hospital has consistently one of the worst emergency department figures in the state. This is not the fault of the staff who do a remarkable job in very difficult circumstances.

"This crisis is a result of a chaotic government policy which is undermining health provision.

"In 2007 Enda Kenny promised to 'end the scandal of patients on trolleys.' That promise was broken.

"In 2011 in its five point plan the government promised to create a completely new health system; including to eliminate long waiting lists; to end trolley waits, and to bring in a universal health insurance scheme - Fair Care. More promises broken.

"The record of this Fine Gael and Labour government is one of broken promises. It is responsible for a health service in complete chaos."


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