Words: Eva O’Beirne
More than 800 people have been waiting on trolleys in Irish hospitals since January 4.
Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has acknowledged that people will die because of risks posed by overcrowding in emergency departments.
The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) has stated that “no hospital is unaffected by overcrowding today” and that patients have been left on trolleys or chairs in emergency departments or elsewhere in every hospital.
Donelly said on the current hospital crisis “the literature is very clear that overcrowding increases patient risks, nobody can dispute this” adding that the current situation was “a perfect storm”.
Speaking on RTÉ’s News at One, Donnelly acknowledged that the HSE had recently secured 185 private hospital beds to help address hospital overcrowding.
INMO have urged the Government to intervene and declare an “out and out crisis” as a total of 838 patients were awaiting a bed on Wednesday morning.
On Tuesday, Ireland witnessed a record high of 931 people waiting for a hospital bed.
Meanwhile, a protest against hospital overcrowding has been planned in Limerick. University Hospital Limerick was the worst affected hospital nationally for bed shortages, with nearly 100 people waiting for beds on January 3.
Elsewhere on District: Dublin’s first supervised drug injection centre gets green light