Hospital overcrowding at its worst last year, new report shows
Hospital overcrowding was at its worst last year, a new report has shown.
Figures released by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) showed that a record number of people went without hospital beds in 2018.
108,227 patients were left waiting on trolleys or chairs last year. This is nine percent more than the number of patients without beds in 2017, and almost double the number recorded in 2006.
The hospitals worst affected were:
- Limerick University Hospital – 11,437
- Cork University Hospital – 9,135
- Galway University Hospital – 7,452
- Midlands Regional Hospital, Tullamore – 5,831
- Tallaght University Hospital – 5,432
The INMO has sad that the hospital bed crisis is due to understaffing and and low capacity.
The organisation said that despite their attempt to work with the government to solve the issues surrounding recruitment and retention in the nursing sector, very little progress has been made.
INMO general secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said that last year, over 100,000 patients were left to wait on trolleys and chairs due to overcrowding.
"We know that this dramatically worsens outcomes for our patients," she said.
"More beds means more nurses, but the HSE simply can’t hire enough on these wages. It’s beyond time for the government to engage proactively with the INMO to resolve the crisis in Irish nursing and midwifery.
“Patients should be focused on recovering, but instead have to worry about waiting times, understaffing and a lack of beds. 2019 must see real changes in policy and funding to resolve this once and for all.”
The INMO voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action last month.
They will meet next week to discuss what dates they will strike.