Independent TD Mattie McGrath has said that the record levels of over-crowding in A&E Departments like that of South Tipperary General will not improve until the HSE and the Minister for Health, Simon Harris, replace endless new management systems with hospital beds. Deputy McGrath was speaking after both nursing and hospital consultant organisations said the problems afflicting the health service has yet to peak:
“I think there is very little point in calling the current situation a ‘crisis’ when it is in fact the new normal state of affairs.
‘Crisis’ implies a departure from the usual operating procedure. This is anything but that.
The HSE seems absolutely incapable of adequately planning for what at this point are predictable strains on the system.
Every year they seem to be completely taken off guard and it is simply not acceptable.
I warned the Minister for Health in November during a debate a Health Insurance that as sure as night follows day we were going to see dire situations emerging in our A&E’s over the Christmas and New Year period.
Minister Harris assured us all at the time however that work on yet another health service capacity review was “progressing within the Department” and that the review will be “more comprehensive than any previous capacity review.”
This is the stuff of nonsense. It is blatantly clear that the problem in the health service, just like that in housing, is capacity. There are simply not enough beds and that is having an extremely detrimental impact on the entire system.
I am deeply concerned that Minister Harris will come into the Dáil in January, and offer us nothing but more bland assurances about ‘capacity reviews’ while out in the real world, the elderly and the dying struggle for the simple dignity of a hospital bed and not a hospital trolley in a packed emergency department,” concluded Deputy McGrath.