Micheál Martin says 530 patients on trolleys in accident and emergency

Taoiseach accuses Fianna Fáil of leaving country in catastrophic situation

Micheál Martin: “In some hospitals the situation is truly chaotic and it is extremely stressful for many patients throughout the country.” Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Micheál Martin: “In some hospitals the situation is truly chaotic and it is extremely stressful for many patients throughout the country.” Photograph: Cyril Byrne

 

There were 530 patients on trolleys in emergency departments, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin told the Dáil on Tuesday.

“In some hospitals the situation is truly chaotic and it is extremely stressful for many patients throughout the country,” he said.

Mr Martin said the situation could be avoided.

In January last year only 512 people were waiting for four weeks for approval under the Fair Deal scheme but the numbers had progressively increased over the year, he added.

In May, 1,365 people were waiting for up to eight weeks for approval, and it was decidedly worse by October, when 2,114 people were waiting 15 weeks, he said.

“It was a deliberate budgetary decision that the Taoiseach took to neglect health and that then led to delayed discharges from acute hospitals and, ultimately, to the accident and emergency crisis we are currently experiencing,” Mr Martin added.

He said the Health Service Executive had asked for €200 million to deal with demographic pressures for this year and it had got €25 million, which was clearly inadequate.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the reason for the Government’s decision was because Mr Martin’s party had left the country in “an absolutely catastrophic situation”.

Mr Kenny said the Government recognised the scale of the challenge faced by the country and the people from the point of view of the economy and how it impacted on people every day.

He said at 8am on Tuesday, there were 462 patients on trolleys.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation also counted patients on trolleys on wards and it increased the number to more than 500.