4 January 2017
By Mary Bermingham
Cork North Central Solidarity TD Mick Barry today called for the publication of information on the number of children who were forced to wait on trolleys in Irish hospitals last year.
Deputy Barry said that the numbers of children forced to wait on trolleys in Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in Dublin increased from 147 in 2013 to 949 in 2016 and raised the question as to whether the number might have increased to over 1000 last year.
The number of children forced to wait on trolleys at the hospital stood at 666 for the year 2017 to August and the full year total is yet to be released.
Earlier this week Dr Emily O’Connor of the Irish Association for Emergency Medicine said: “By December all our pediatric emergency colleagues were telling us they had trolley Waits.”
Deputy Barry said “There is, of course, a deja vu factor with the annual New Year trolley crisis. But this can obscure the fact that it’s not just the same old story – things are getting worse. The fact that record trolley numbers were recorded this week weeks before the flu virus peaking is one example of that. Another is the fact the numbers of children on trolleys increased more than sixfold in a four year period at the Children’s Hospital and that children on trolleys is emerging as a shameful new phenomenon elsewhere too as reported by pediatric hospital staff.”
Deputy Barry said that “the worsening crisis shows that tweaks and minor changes are totally inadequate and that fundamental change is needed in the form of the establishment of an Irish National Health Service unshackled by cutbacks.”
As well as calling for the publication of information on the number of children being forced to wait on trolleys Deputy Barry called for “the reversal of hospital bed cuts and pay increases for nurses and other health service staff to combat staff shortages.”