THE case of a West Cork woman in her 80s who fell and broke her hip and was left on a trolley for two days, was highlighted in the Dáil after the Christmas recess, by Fianna Fáil Deputy Margaret Murphy O’Mahony.
The deputy said the woman was on a trolley in Cork University Hospital for 48 hours. ‘This was after waiting hours for an ambulance and travelling from West Cork. Surely a woman in her 80s and in severe pain deserves better than that. I have heard many more such examples in my Cork South West constituency,’ said the deputy.
Speaking during a debate on the hospital trolley crisis, Deputy Murphy O’Mahony said that despite an undertaking by the previous Taoiseach Enda Kenny, in 2011, to bring an end to the trolley crisis, seven years later the problem has become worse.
‘Fine Gael has been in government for seven years and has failed to achieve any health target it has set,’ she said. ‘It is not rocket science to know that January will be a busy month in the hospitals. Our party spokesman on health issues, Deputy Kelleher, highlighted this to the Minister and the HSE last February when they were before the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Health but here we are again with no apparent plan.’
An adequate management system in emergency departments is impossible to maintain given that the recommended waiting times are constantly being overrun, she said. The latter results in emergency departments remaining at capacity levels all year round. ‘This is heightened at this time of the year, thus making the situation worse,’ she said. ‘We have reached the point now where elective surgeries are being cancelled and the problem is extending outside the emergency department.’