A Waterford Fianna Fail Councillor is calling on the government to take action before waiting times in the emergency department at UHW spiral out of control over the winter months.
Department of Health figures released to the party show that over 800 elderly people have been waiting on trolleys in A and E for more than 24 hours in the first 8 months of the year.
Nationally that figure is ten thousand people.
Councillor Eamon Quinlan says the figures are disturbing.
Eamon Quinlan wants the Government to carry out a review of all health care services geared to UHW.
He says GP’s in Waterford are doing the best they can in providing services, but they need assistance.
The latest figures were released to Deputy Stephen Donnelly who said they represent a serious indictment of Fine Gael’s management of the public hospital system in this country
“2018 is already far worse than last year, and I really do fear for the coming winter. I fully expect the total number for this year to exceed 14,000 – a shocking statistic in itself but even worse when we consider that these are our parents, our aunts and uncles left lying, often in a very vulnerable state, on uncomfortable and unsuitable trolleys.
“Best practice, based on a 2012 HIQA report, is that total patient time spent in an emergency department should be six hours or less. The facts speak for themselves – the Government is failing so badly that their recent Service Plans set a target of less than 24 hours for older patients being spent in an emergency department.
“In September, I put forward common sense proposals to increase bed capacity over the winter and ease the overcrowding in our Emergency Departments. Our proposals including giving EDs priority access to diagnostic services, extending radiology and other diagnostic departments opening hours and enacting emergency escalation procedures far earlier than at present.