Thursday, 29 April 2021
Ceisteanna ar Reachtaíocht a Gealladh - Questions on Promised Legislation
This is the first time in a long while when the issue of trolleys or hospital overcrowding has been raised with me in the House. It used to be something that was raised nearly every week when I was on my feet. That tells a story in itself. The problem of trolleys and hospital overcrowding has not gone away by any means, but it is considerably less than it was before the pandemic. Even though emergency department attendances are back to 2019 levels, we have seen a considerable reduction in the number of people who have to wait on a trolley for a bed. I do not have the exact figures, but it is down more than half on what it would have been in 2018 or 2019. That is due to the additional investment, changes in pathways and reforms that have been made by the HSE in recent years. This is not to say that we do not still have big problems in some hospitals. Limerick is one of those. It will require more capacity in the years ahead.