Beaumont postpones procedures as overcrowding worsens

Hospitals becoming ‘overwhelmed’ by flu and flood-related injuries, says Varadkar

The Irish Association for Emergency Medicine said flu numbers have exceeded threshold levels, indicating that flu is officially in the country.

The Irish Association for Emergency Medicine said flu numbers have exceeded threshold levels, indicating that flu is officially in the country.

 

Beaumont Hospital announced it is postponing non-urgent procedures today amid nationwide problems with overcrowding in emergency departments.

Hospitals are becoming “overwhelmed” by large numbers of patients presenting with flu symptoms and flood-related injuries, Minister for Health Leo Varadkar has said.

Cork University Hospital cancelled all non-essential surgeries on Thursday as staff there dealt with severe levels of overcrowding.

A number of non-urgent procedures were also postponed at St James’s Hospital in Dublin.

The Irish Association for Emergency Medicine said flu numbers have exceeded threshold levels, indicating that flu is officially in the country.

However, the organisation’s president Dr Mark Doyle said there is more to the problem than an increase in the number of flu cases presenting at hospitals.

There are now a higher number of elderly people in the population as well as people with long term chronic conditions, he told Newstalk FM. That population trend will lead to continued overcrowding in the future, he said.

He said the Government needs to immediately provide more beds in the hospital system or at community care centres.

He said it would probably be better to make more community beds available because that would free up spaces in hospitals.