There are currently 42 patients waiting on trolleys in UHG, the third highest in the State, according to figures released this week by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation.
Reacting to the figures, Sinn Féin Galway City East councillor Mairéad Farrell said the situation “reinforces the extent of the recruitment and retention and capacity crisis in the health service”, which, she alleged, “has been continuously escalating under Simon Harris’s tenure as Minister for Health”.
“The Government’s efforts to resolve this crisis have been absolutely derisory,” said Cllr Farrell. “Proof of this comes from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation who recently reported that the total number of patients on trolleys has exceeded 100,000 this year – the first time since records began. The Government have had nearly eight years to address the problems of the trolley crisis and overcrowding, however, year on year the crisis gets worse.”
Cllr Farrell accused the Government of “blaming hardworking nurses and doctors for the crisis”, in order to “deflect from their ineptitude and mismanagement of the health service”.
She said the crux of the issue is “the recruitment and retention crisis”, and she is calling on the Government to engage with unions to address “the systemic problems in the health service” which have “caused a recruitment and retention crisis amongst health workers of all professions and grades” in order to have a “meaningful impact in getting patients off trolleys”.