Hospital overcrowding hits monthly high, says INMO
414 people are on trolleys or in overcrowded wards today (Tuesday), the highest figure recorded this July, and a 22% increase on the same day last year.
Several hospitals have shown a spike in patients forced to wait on trolleys or in overcrowded wards:
- Cork University Hospital: 60
- University Hospital Limerick: 49
- Mater Misericordiae University Hospital: 35
The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO), which collects the figures, says that the problem is caused by a lack of nursing staff and limited bed capacity in hospitals. In University Hospital Limerick, for example, there are over 70 unfilled nursing vacancies.
INMO General Secretary, Phil Ní Sheaghdha, said:
“These are genuinely startling figures to see in summertime. It’s only July, and our hospitals are already way over capacity. Nurses will be looking to winter with a sense of dread. A decade ago we’d call this a national emergency, but it’s the new normal in our broken health service.
“Capacity simply has to increase. The government must make it a priority to fill nursing vacancies urgently. That won’t happen without the pay rise that nurses have earned. I worry that if pay stays low and conditions worsen, more nurses will be forced out of our health services.”
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