Despite many assurances from Minister Simon Harris the chaotic situation at our A and E units across the country is getting worse, and this week the Irish Association for Emergency Medicine has warned that up to 350 people a year are dying needlessly as a direct result of the gridlock at hospitals throughout the country which is an outrage. If it went on in any other walk of life those responsible would be held to account and removed from the positions.
The consultants say that most of the preventable deaths that are occourring among elderly people because of the flu and remember that this has been a mild winter so far. God only knows what the situation would be if we had a severe winter. We have to take this problem by the scruff of the neck and sort it out once and for all. We have to review who can be treated at hospitals like Roscommon which would ease the pressure on centres like Ballinasloe and Galway. Surely more patients could be teated in small hospitals with minor injuries units as part of any solution. Overall bed capacity and staffing must be increased to cope with the crisis.
Minister Harris has made many fine statements since he took over about this situation and he has been going around the country visiting hospitals. That’s all very fine but there has been no improvement in the situation at all.This week once again there were 600 people on hospital trolleys awaiting treatment. Sound bites and speeches which come across well on TV and radio are all very fine but it is action on the ground that is needed now. The Government headed by Enda Kenny and propped up by Fianna Fail and some of the Independents and Minister Harris have got to be held to account on this life or death issue and I intend to continue to do that.