Emergency departments under strain

 

Sir, – There has never been private practice within the emergency departments of public hospitals. Priority is based on clinical need. It is entirely predictable that increasing numbers of people are coming to emergency departments to access care; so far this year there have been 937,630 attendances at Irish emergency departments, a 3.2 per cent on the year to date on 2018. Our colleagues in the southern hemisphere are telling us that their flu season is terrible and is on its way north. So please can we not express surprise when patient care in emergency departments is not what we want or need this winter? Alongside planning for a societal shift to care outside of hospital, can we please resource the place patients are now– our emergency departments?

If we want care in our public hospitals, and conditions in our emergency departments to improve, we must tell our politicians that it is a priority for us and that we will not tolerate the status quo. – Yours, etc,

Dr EMILY O’CONOR,

President,

Irish Association

for Emergency Medicine,

Consultant in

Emergency Medicine,

Connolly Hospital,

Blanchardstown,

Dublin 15.