Chaos as hospital overcrowding levels reach peak

AISLING KIERNAN

Reporter:

AISLING KIERNAN

Deputy Robert Troy says the overcrowding crisis at Mullingar Emergency Department is unacceptable.
The IMNO has called for a two week cancellation of all planned elective admissions to the country’s hospitals.

The IMNO has called for a two week cancellation of all planned elective admissions to the country’s hospitals.

The calls have been made as the country’s largest hospitals try to deal with the surge of patients on trolleys as the levels of overcrowding reach an all time high.

On Tuesday of this week there were 33 people on trolleys at the Midland Regional Hospital, Mullingar; three at Cavan General Hospital; 24 at the Midland Regional Hospital, Tullamore and nine patients on trolleys at Portiuncula Hospital in Ballinasloe.

Longford/Westmeath FF TD, Deputy Robert Troy said it was “unacceptable” that the hospital in Mullingar had found itself once again in a situation where it had to discourage people from attending its emergency department because of overcrowding.

“I am appalled that the overcrowding in Mullingar is among the worst in the country today,” he fumed. “The winter period is traditionally a pressure point for hospitals but proper and effective management of this by the Government would help hospitals through the difficult periods. This is a crisis which has been deteriorating steadily for the past year, and I have consistently raised these issues with the Government but they have stood back and refused to take action.”

On Monday there were a total of 563 people on trolleys across the country.

Cllr Peggy Nolan (FG) called for a ‘step down’ facility to be provided for at St Joseph’s Care Centre in Longford.

She said the facility would help to alleviate the overcrowding crisis at the Midland Regional Hospital in Mullingar.

“It would free up 20 beds in Mullingar and how valuable would that be?,” she asked. “We are entering a time now where people will be suffering from flus, winter vomiting bugs etc and this will bring more pressure on our already stretched to limit hospitals. Longford needs to be taken very seriously in relation to this and it is imperative now that investment be put in place. This could be a real turning point for health services in this area.”

Cllr Nolan believes that if a business plan was put in place for St Joseph’s, the centre could be operation al as a step down facility in one month.

“You have all the facilities on the campus for a step down facility,” she said .

She also called upon the Minister for Health to meet with local councillors to find out exactly what is happening o n the ground.

“They are thowing millions at a situation that they don’t seem to have an answer for,” she stated.