WE voted for change in the government, so why can’t we vote for change in our hospital structures?
That’s the question being asked by Timoleague woman Bernadette Walshe whose 89-year-old mum was forced to spend 54 hours on a hospital trolley before she secured a bed.
Bernadette and her Ballincollig-based mother were referred to the CUH last Friday.
She said her 91-year-old father had pleaded with staff to get his wife, who has private health insurance, a bed, but it wasn’t until midnight on Sunday that she was eventually moved off a corridor when a ward was opened.
‘And that was at the expense of others as the ward was to be used by people having elective surgery the next day, which was cancelled,’ said Bernadette.
She is now putting pressure on the new government to introduce reform to hospital structures and has one specific idea she wants members to raise in the Dáil.
‘I don’t think elderly people should have go through A&Es like everyone else,’ said Bernadette.
‘Why not have specific A&Es for them in places like St Finbarr’s in the city which is already a geriatric hospital, and in Bantry?’ she asked.
She feels strongly this system could work for non-surgical elderly cases: ‘It’s not just about my mum, either, but for other elderly people, and myself when it comes to my day.’
Bernadette has already raised the issue with newly re-elected independent TD Michael Collins and Sinn Fein’s Thomas Gould in Cork North Central who both reacted positively to her proposal and said they’d raise it further.