Increase in overcrowding compounding issues in emergency departments
People Before Profit wish to convey their support and solidarity with the INMO nurses who have taken the decision to strike by a vote of 58% to 42% against the proposals aimed at addressing the overcrowding and under-staffing of emergency departments.
It has been said clearly by the nurses that they do not want to take strike action but the chaotic situation that the health service is in in this country has meant that this eventuality has become unavoidable.
It has been reported on the INMO website that overcrowding is up 4% when comparing November 2014 and November 2015. This however represents a cumulative increase of 24% in patients on trolleys from November 2014 to November 2015.
People Before Profit spokesperson, John Lyons, said: “I would like to convey People Before Profit’s support and solidarity to the INMO nurses who are taking the brave decision to take strike action. This decision will not have been taken lightly by the nurses who has said clearly in the past that the deteriorating conditions in emergency departments is putting the health and safety of patients at risk.
“Last November the HSE set a target that there would be no more than 50 patents waiting on trolleys throughout the country. Yet last night over 500 people were waiting on trolleys – that is, more than ten times the official target.
“I think the Minister, instead of condemning these nurses, should focus his attention on getting rid of the hazardous conditions in emergency departments which have only been exacerbated under his watch. We have seen from figures released by the INMO that overcrowding has increased by 24% between November 2014 and November 2015. This is outrageous.
“In my constituency, Beaumont Hospital, is one of the hospitals with the most severe emergencies in regards to patients on trolleys: 49 patients were recorded as being on trolleys in the emergency department yesterday and this morning the hospital’s management is asking the public to stay away from its emergency department. This cannot be allowed to continue.
“In addition to all of this young nurses have been treated so disgracefully that many leave the country once they graduate. Student nurses are required to undertake 36 weeks clinical placement in their final year. But they are paid below the minimum wage and this period is not counted for incremental pay. All of these factors has meant that whole classes of undergraduate nurses are now leaving to work abroad – leaving behind a massive recruitment crisis in Ireland.
“We need a total overhaul of the HSE. We need to invest to create a high quality health service and pay for it through progressive taxation. At moment we have people paying three times through taxes, private insurance and hospital charges. This is outrageous considering our health service is broken and not working”.