Independent TD Mattie McGrath has said that he fears for the well-being of staff and the lives of vulnerable patients following confirmation from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) that South Tipperary General Hospital has experienced the fourth highest national level of patients waiting on trolleys in 2019. Deputy McGrath was speaking after an INMO analysis found that the annual number of patients who were without a bed at the national level has so far reached 100,457 with South Tipperary General accounting for 6,040 of those patients:
“The INMO analysis paints a grim and stark picture in terms of the depth and scale of the trolley crisis that is afflicting all major hospitals in every region of the country.
The situation in STGH is particularly alarming given the obvious capacity issues that the building is facing on top of fact that the ED department is being used for inappropriate processing of mental health patients who deserve their own facility.
As I understand it, the INMO have now shown that the number of patients exceeding 100,000 was reached faster this year than in 2018.
This is a clear indication that the Minister and indeed the HSE just cannot get to grips with this problem either at the step down bed level or in terms of staffing for new wards.
So people are only right to feel frustrated and angry when they then hear the Taoiseach say that one of the reasons we have overruns in the health service is down to what he describes as a “recruitment surge rather than the recruitment crisis” and “that extra people are hired every year beyond what is provided for in budgets.”
But where is the evidence that this apparent ‘surge’ in HSE staff is making any kind of meaningful change on the ground? Where is the evidence that all those billions are making patients more comfortable or leading to reduced waiting times or reduced overcrowding?
South Tipperary General is a wonderful facility but it has been experiencing unrelenting pressure for years now and that has to end for the good of patients and frontline staff,” concluded Deputy McGrath.