Hospitals braced for another busy day as overcrowding reaches new high

Leslie Hanson
March 13, 2018

714 people across the country were waiting for a hospital bed on trolleys and in wards yesterday morning - a new all time high.

The Department of Health's emergency taskforce is due to meet today to consider the recent surge in overcrowding in hospital emergency units.

Elsewhere, 31 people are on trolleys or in already full wards in Mullingar and Portlaoise's total is 16.

These patients, who are regularly categorised as being "on trolleys", have not been allocated a ward bed, and typically have to wait along corridors but are also moved between general locations where space allows.

The pressure has led to the HSE cancelling all non-urgent surgeries.

Fianna Fáil health spokesperson Billy Kelleher has described the figures as "absolutely deplorable".


"Last week was the worst week ever experienced for emergency department overcrowding".

"I have heard reports of a 64-year-old man having spent 109 hours on a trolley in Tallaght hospital; that's over 4½ days. This is surely some breach of human rights?"

Nursing Homes Ireland has written to the Minister for Health Simon Harris and the HSE to inform of bed availability within nursing homes to alleviate overcrowding within our acute hospitals.

"It is now the middle of March and the situation is actually getting worse". It had called for this after Storm Emma to allow the service to recover from the backlogs created by the adverse weather conditions.

The hospital said: "ED patients are seen in order of priority which may result in patients with minor illnesses or injuries experiencing delays".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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