More than 400 patients on hospital trolleys, Dáil told
Taoiseach says ‘if it was a question of money, it would have been fixed years ago’
The Taoiseach and Gerry Adams disagreed on the number of patients on trolleys, with Adams saying the number was 472.
Some 400 people were on hospital trolleys at 8 am on Wednesday, Taoiseach Enda Kenny told the Dáil.
“That will, obviously, decline during the course of the day,’’ he said.
The Taoiseach was replying to Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams, who said there were 472 patients on trolleys in emergency departments and wards for the third consecutive day. Our Lady of Lourdes hospital, Drogheda, had the highest number of people on trolleys, he added.
“It is clear the Government is not providing adequate resources,’’ said Mr Adams.
He urged Mr Kenny to consider a scenario whereby a patient presented at a hospital and a clinical decision was taken to admit them. However, Government policy prevented them from receiving proper medical attention.
“Instead, they are left for several hours or days on a chair or a trolley,’’ he added.
Mr Kenny said there was an acute shortage of beds in Drogheda for dealing with delayed discharges from the hospitals.
He said the Government took the issue very seriously, adding it was not in the best interests of anybody to have people, particularly the elderly, on trolleys.
Mr Kenny said the issue could not be fixed overnight and the Government did not have endless resources.
“If it was a question of money, it would have been fixed years ago,’’ he added.
“It is an issue that arises on a regular basis and it is a case of being able to manage it effectively in the interests of the patients.’’