22 Dceember 2015
By Tom O’Sullivan
Fianna Fáil Health spokesperson Billy Kelleher says the ongoing retention of a 9 hour target for an Emergency Department stay is yet another example of the Government diminishing expectations and is an admission that it has failed to implement the HSE’s own 6 hour target in the Emergency Medicine Plan launched in 2012 by James Reilly.
The HIQA 2012 report into dangerous overcrowding also recommended a 6 hour target.
“Instead of promising to start doing something proactive once a third of critical ED bays are blocked by admitted patients, the HSE needs to ban entirely the normalisation of overcrowding in EDs which causes dangerous entry block”, explained Deputy Kelleher.
“Any level of overcrowding causes a serious delay for the 1.2 million citizens who use Irish EDs each year. It has been estimated that 350 patients a year die as a consequence of overcrowding.
“When people have an accident or a critical emergency they should have immediate access to dignified quality emergency care. Instead we have a downward revision of this Government’s failed targets in an attempt to spin the ongoing dangerous level of overcrowding in our public hospitals.
“The statement by the HSE has also failed to outline clear lines of accountability for these revised measures and the public can have no assurances that any manager will be held accountable for the ongoing failure of the government to provide safe Emergency Care.
“Furthermore with Minister Varadkar approving a €100 million cut in hospital budgets next year, there must be great scepticism that this is a stopgap measure to get us up to the general election.”