A vigil is to be held outside UHG this Thursday to protest against cutbacks to and the crisis within the health service. The vigil is part of a series that will be taking place across the State, led by The Still Waiting Campaign.
The Galway vigil takes place at 7.30pm, and is being organised by People Before Profit Galway. It is encouraging the public to attend and to bring candles "in order to respectfully remember those who have suffered and are still suffering".
According to PBPG representative Joe Loughnane, University Hospital Galway saw a significant surge in trolley numbers in March 2015 with 634 people left waiting for a hospital bed – a rise of 247 on 2014’s March figure which stood at 387. He added that Galway has both the highest number waiting for inpatient treatment, at 10,605, and outpatient treatment, with 30,464 waiting.
Figures published by the National Treatment Purchase Fund in September 2016 indicated that UHG had the longest waiting lists at 33,000, ahead of the Mater and Beaumont hospitals in Dublin at 27,000, and Cork University Hospital, where 26,000 patients are on the list.
People Before Profit is calling for a "massive increase" in the number of nurses and frontline staff in hospitals throughout the State. It is also calling for pay structures to be overhauled and for work conditions of nurses and health workers "to be addressed".