Ciaran Heaphey has called for Beaumont Hospital to be immediately provided with the funding it needs to provide appropriate and timely healthcare to all of its patients. Heaphey made his comments as the latest ‘Trolley Watch’ data shows that large numbers of patients are routinely left waiting on hospital trolleys and chairs due to the lack of proper beds in Beaumont.
Hundreds Wait on Trolleys
The ‘Trolley Watch’ figures, which are compiled by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, show that hundreds of patients had to endure the indignity of lying on hospital trolleys during the first three months of 2014. On one day in January close to fifty people were left sitting on chairs, on trolleys, or beds in corridors and other unsuitable locations. Across these three months there was not a single reported day where Beaumont was able to provide a proper bed in an appropriate location for every patient. The chronic overcrowding that is being experienced in Beaumont Hospital is replicated in hospitals all across the state. Years of savage cutbacks that began following the bank bailout in 2008 have taken their toll on hospital staff, medical equipment and hospital buildings.
Staff Shortages Put Lives at Risk
It is a well-established fact that patients in appropriately staffed hospitals generally have better outcomes than patients in under-staffed facilities. In other words patients in under-staffed hospitals are more likely to suffer avoidable illness and premature death. In January of this year the Chief Executive Officer of the Health Service Executive was presented with a report which highlighted the difficulty that Beaumont is having in recruiting staff to key medical positions. Poor pay and working conditions in the public sector are causing many medical professionals to emigrate or go into the private sector. Speaking in relation to Beaumont Hospital éirígí local election candidate Ciaran Heaphey said, ‘As the main hospital serving North East Dublin, Beaumont should be going from strength to strength in providing world-class healthcare to all of its patients. Instead it is struggling to find beds for its patients and to find staff to fill vacancies. The experience of Beaumont demonstrates how years of under-funding can destabilize the very fabric of a hospital.
Cynical Undermining of Public Healthcare
Ciaran Heaphey continued, ‘To fully understand the situation in Beaumont we first have to understand that Fine Gael, Labour and their masters in The Troika are intend on privatising every aspect of healthcare across the state. For this to happen they must first run the public health service into the ground. And then the private sector will be able to step into the vacuum and make vast profits out of the suffering of our citizens.
The government are cynically undermining every aspect of the public health service and in the process they are playing fast and loose with people’s lives. They need to abandon all plans to privatise the health service and instead focus on providing an efficient public health service that will provide all citizens with top-class healthcare from the womb to the tomb. And they can start by providing Beaumont with the money it needs without delay.’