Overcrowding at St Luke's Hospital, Kilkenny reaches crisis point - Aylward

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Sam Matthews

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Sam Matthews

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sam.matthews@kilkennypeople.ie

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Sean Keane

The number of people stuck on trolleys at St. Luke’s Hospital Emergency Department in Kilkenny has increased by 154% in the space of a year.

There were 159 people on trolleys at the hospital in 2016, but this has increased to 404 in May 2017.

Fianna Fail TD, Bobby Aylward has said that Minister for Health Simon Harris has failed to deliver on his commitment to address the chronic overcrowding in the country’s Emergency Departments.

Deputy Aylward said, successive Fine Gael Ministers had failed to get to grips with the problems at the Emergency Department in Kilkenny.

“It’s simply unacceptable that hundreds of people are forced to wait on trolleys on a monthly basis while waiting to access emergency care,” Deputy Aylward said.

“Minister Harris is in office for over a year now yet his plan to tackle the overcrowding crisis still isn’t having the desired impact on the ground.

“Fianna Fáil has consistently called for a multi-faceted approach to tackle overcrowding. This involves more beds, a greater focus on primary care facilities and the recruitment of additional healthcare staff.

“Nursing Homes Ireland claims there are more than 700 beds available in nursing homes across the country. These should be utilised as a matter of priority, through the Fair Deal scheme, so that older people who no longer need hospital treatment can be cared for in an appropriate setting, while freeing up essential acute beds in larger hospitals,” Deputy Aylward added.