Trolley crisis shows need for wholesale Sláintecare reform – not quick fix

September 4, 2017

Social Democrats co-leader Róisín Shortall TD has said that the disgracefully high number of patients on hospital trolleys can only be tackled once and for all with the wholesale overhaul of our health system as set out in the Sláintecare reform plan.

Deputy Shortall said:

“The summer is barely over and already we have record high numbers of patients waiting for admissions to beds, with 7,781 people on trolleys or on wards last month.

“With the inevitable winter trolley crisis looming, it’s time for the government to be bold and break this cycle. In the short term, the priority must be to free up beds caused by delayed discharges. The latest HSE Performance Report shows that 600 beds are occupied inappropriately. These include many older people waiting for home care packages or nursing home places.

“Properly resourcing home care packages and supports would enable older people to leave hospitals – that would be good for them, but it would also work for the wider interests of all patients as it would free up more beds.”

Deputy Shortall added:

“If we are to end the annual trolley crisis for once and for all, then we need to get beyond quick fixes. The government must commit to the reform blueprint set out in the Sláintecare plan published earlier this year by a cross-party Oireachtas committee. Sláintecare sets out a fully costed ten-year plan to fix our broken health system and it’s time for the government to adopt it in its entirety, and set about implementing it with much-needed urgency.”

ENDS

4 September 2017