Ambulance Strike Postponded

While there was good news overnight as ambulance drivers in north Tipperary called off a strike that was due to start at midnight, it has emerged that hospital 'trolley waits' are increasing.

According to the latest count from the Irish Nurses Organisation, there are at least 171 patients sleeping on hospital trolleys in Irish hospitals today,

The union said the worst offender is Beaumont Hospital in Dublin with 33 patients. Nineteen are on trolleys in Dublin's Mater Hospital, 16 in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda and 14 in the Mid Western Regional Hospital in Dooradoyle, Limerick.

Figures for Monaghan General Hospital are not available

The figures are bad news for the Health Service Executive (HSE), although the postponed strike action, which would have affected Nenagh, Thurles and Roscrea has given senior executives a breathing space.

The row centres on a dispute with the HSE over the introduction of new work practices.

Instead of the strike, talks are due to get underway at the Labour Relations Commission next week in an effort to resolve the dispute.

However, the union SIPTU is warning that the industrial action will be reintroduced if the talks fail.

In a separate development, the Department of Health has reportedly instructed the HSE to draw up plans for up to €800m worth of cutbacks next year.

Reports this morning said the department has asked them to assess how services would be affected by spending cuts ranging from €400m to €800m.


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