Responding to news of unprecedented numbers of patients on hospital trolleys in A&E departments across the state, Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín TD has stated:

“It is now almost a daily occurrence that the HSE and the health system are in the news. Yesterday was the worst day in the state’s history for hospital overcrowding, with 760 people waiting without beds in Irish hospitals. That figure has remained the same today.

“The most recent figures are shocking to see in this day and age. Doctor Laura Durcan’s revelation that there are 300 fewer hospital beds today than a decade ago, despite the increase in our population, is indicative of the incompetence of the Minister for Health and his inability or unwillingness to rectify the major structural defects in the health system.

“2019 had a record high of 118,367 patients waiting on A&E trolleys. That 2020 has begun with another record-breaking figure for hospital trolleys leaves us with no illusions about the on-going mismanagement of the health service.

“The Minister for Health’s assertion that he is ‘proud’ of what he has overseen in the health system is absolutely staggering. It is time for Simon Harris to resign. Who can honestly say that they have confidence in him as Minister for Health?

“The government’s defence of unprecedented trolley numbers has been to blame seasonal flu. Having contingency measures, like additional hospital beds, at winter time when flu predictably breaks out would be a straightforward action that could have been, and can still be, taken to offset the worst of the overcrowding. That contingency measures are not in place highlights, once again, the government’s lack of concern with the serious difficulties facing the health system.”

CRÍOCH