THE answer to the problem in the emergency department at University Hospital Limerick (UHL) is increasing beds, doctors, nurses and other frontline staff.
That’s according to Limerick City Labour Party TD Jan O’Sullivan, who announced that her party is committing to allocating €40 million over three years to bring us into line with other region’s resources.
“The situation in the emergency department at UHL is intolerable for patients, staff and families and it simply has to be stopped. We have heard harrowing stories of elderly, frail and very ill people squashed together on trolleys and chairs for days at a time, deprived of their dignity and fearful for their health,” Deputy O’Sullivan commented.
The General Election candidate maintains there are three principals that must be underpinned for the situation to changes – Equality, Resources and Ring-Fencing of funds.
“Equality means that each care region is resourced according to objective data on the needs of the population served: the case has been clearly made for the acute hospitals in the Mid-West but there is also inequality in the vital community resources between different regions. Waiting times for children with disabilities, young people with mental health issues, older people who need home supports vary in different parts of the country and gaps in service have to be filled,” she explained.
Labour’s ‘Care in the Community’ proposals address these needs.
She believes that resources have to be directed to the implementation of the Sláintecare strategy.
“The waste of money must stop, including ending the over-reliance on agency workers and spending re-directed to front-line staff in hospitals and in community services rather than on management layers.
“From my experience, it is essential to ring-fence funding to implement change. If that does not happen, money designed to end the trolley crisis, to fill the gaps in services to families and older people in the community and to stop the pain brought to so many young people and families by mental health and suicide, will be sucked into general spending,” she concluded.