Fianna Fáil candidate for Galway West John Connolly has hit out at the Government for failing to adequately fund health services at University Hospital Galway.
Over the past number of years, waiting lists have soared, the number of patients left on trolleys at the Emergency Department has escalated dramatically, and frontline staff are being expected to work in extremely pressurised and sometimes unsafe conditions.
“In the four years since Fine Gael and Labour have been in office, services in the health sector have taken a dramatic turn for the worse, not least at University Hospital Galway,” Connolly said.
“Patient services have been dealt a severe blow due to mismanagement, misguided priorities, and ministerial incompetency. Under the tenure of Leo Varadkar and James Reilly, services have deteriorated to a place where it is almost beyond repair.
“The number of people on trolleys in University Hospital Galway has jumped from 181 in 2013 to 422 in 2014, and stood at 670 last month. Services in Galway have not been sufficiently expanded to deal with the increased demand.
“Units outside of UHG have been shut and have not been replaced, leading to a greater demand on the existing services. This Government’s penny-wise, pound foolish, approach to shutting services is not cost effective, and has resulted in the deterioration of services in Galway and further afield.
“Patients are not receiving the quality of care that they deserve and their care is being compromised as a result of this chronic overcrowding. The fact that the number of patients on trolleys has risen by almost 60 per cent in one year is a damning indictment of Minister Leo Varadkar’s inability to deal with the situation.”