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Record number of patients waiting on trolleys or chairs unacceptable - minister

Record number of patients waiting on trolleys or chairs unacceptable - minister

Instead of being downgraded as is proposed by the HSE's Dublin Midland Hospital Group, the TD insists that the Emergency Department at Minlands Regional Hospital, Portlaoise needs to be improved.

However, the IMO say Simon Harris' commitments to tackle the problem must be backed up by funding from the Finance Minister.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation's (INMOs) trolley count this morning indicated an increase in hospital overcrowding from yesterday's figure of 21.

He expressed his regret and frustration at the situation and that there has not been an improvement despite increased investment.

"Of course [I'm apologising] - but I very much believe patients don't want an act of contrition from a Minister of Health [.] What they want is a plan, and they want a Minister with a plan - I want to assure them that I have that, and 2018 will see that advance".

The figures come as the INMO's annual figures show that nearly 100,000 people were waiting on a trolley or on a ward past year.

The INMO recently released its annual figures for 2017, which revealed that nearly 99,000 patients were left waiting on trolleys previous year, with the highest figure recorded in University Hospital Limerick (8,869).

He revealed: "I find it beyond puzzling that during Celtic Tiger Ireland, when this country had more money than sense, we reduced the number of hospital beds and we never built a new hospital".

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Smaller hospitals such as Our Lady's Hospital in Navan increased from 595 in 2016 to 2435 in 2017 and Portiuncula Hospital in Ballinasloe recorded 1569 trolley figures compared with 892 in 2016.

Ms Fogarty has also said that more robust action from management is called for to tackle the constant overcrowding problem in the emergency department at UHL.

Minister Harris held a teleconference with the chief executives of the country's hospital groups to discuss the overcrowding crisis and said he was satisfied that everything that can be done is being done.

"High levels of burnout have been reported amongst nurses working in overcrowded environments", she said.

The HSE has said this afternoon that flu cases are increasing and advised people showing symptoms not to go to work or school.

The HSE's Assistant National Director for Public Health and Child Health Dr Kevin Kelleher said that between 80 and 120 deaths are directly linked to influenza each year.

Nearly 200 people have been hospitalised with the flu and a small number - less than 10- of people have died.


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