Deputy Seamus Healy today challenged An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD on overcrowding at the Emergency Department at South Tipperary General Hospital during Leaders’ Questions, and invited the Taoiseach to visit the hospital himself to see the effect of government cuts first hand.
The number of patients forced to await admission on trolleys at South Tipperary General Hospital emergency department is absolutely unacceptable and is reminiscent of third world conditions.
These numbers have increased from 750 in 2011 to 3100 in 2013. The hospital budget has been cut by almost 25% or €11 million over the last few years and it has lost over 100 staff.
This year 2014, has seen a further €1.7 million cut to the budget.
Over the same period activity at the hospital and patient numbers have increased significantly and the hospital is operating at 120% capacity on an on-going daily basis.
The hospital has been put under severe pressure; staff are working above and beyond the call of duty and despite their best efforts are struggling to provide a safe service.
The on-going situation of overcrowding and trolleys at the emergency department is of particular concern.
In an attempt to solve this situation, Deputy Healy has met the hospital authorities twice recently, the regional health service staff and raised the issue with Minister James Reilly TD and the National Health Service Director at the Oireachtas Committee on Health.
Today Deputy Healy challenged An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD on the issue at leader’s questions and again will raise the issue with the Minister for Health James Reilly and National Health Service Executive officials at the Oireachtas Health Committee on Thursday.
Deputy Healy fully supports the proposal, from South Tipperary General Hospital for the opening of an additional 12 step down beds at Our Ladys Hospital, Cashel.
This proposal is seen as key to alleviating pressure on the hospital and particularly the trolley situation at the emergency department.
Deputy Healy demanded the opening of additional beds at South Tipperary General Hospital and additional staffing at the emergency department.
These are crucial issues for the provision of a safe and quality service to the public.