THE number pf patients lying on trolleys in Kerry University Hospital’s emergency department has grown by an astonishing 522 per cent over the past seven years, it has been claimed.
Cllr Norma Moriarty said the problem has grown out of all proportion during Fine Gael’s time in government since 2011 when 45 were on trolleys compared to 280 in 2018.
“The people of Kerry are being affected by this atrocious overcrowding. Many of the people on trolleys are older, highly vulnerable people who cannot afford to be left waiting in hospital corridors,” she said.
Cllr Moriarty said this is the first time since records began that the number of hospital patients without beds in Ireland has exceeded 100,000 nationally.
“People are terrified of needing to go to their local emergency department. It also means that our doctors and nurses are working in often unbearable conditions,” she said.
Cllr Moriarty said patients who can be treated in step down, non-acute facilities need to be discharged as soon as possible and there is a need to see new acute beds brought on stream as soon as possible.
“The government supposedly has a plan to increase bed numbers but nothing will happen for a number of years. This cannot be allowed. We need HSE management to look at every hospital and identify quick-wins where can we add in one, two or three extra beds right now,” she stated.
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