Seanad debates

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business

 

10:30 am

Photo of Jerry ButtimerJerry Buttimer (Fine Gael)

I do not either, any day of the week.

Senator Ardagh made reference to the issue of health. There is a huge issue on admission to our emergency departments. I will make the points again here this morning. We are seeing an increase in the number of people who are presenting to emergency departments. We are also seeing an increase in delayed discharges, which is adding to the issue. There is an issue with the management of our health service at the coalface. I also make the point, which I made yesterday, that there are vested interests at play here where it suits people to be on trolleys and there is a game going on within the health system. That needs to be called out as well. One person on a trolley is too many but we have seen an increase for a variety of reasons.

If one casts one's mind back, which nobody in this House has mentioned at all, for the first nine months of this year we have seen an increase of 3% in people presenting to emergency departments and the number of emergency department admissions has increased by 1.4% compared to this time last year.In September the number of patients subject to a delayed transfer of care was 25% higher than in the same month last year. What was the reason for it? There is the highest ever health spend in the history of the State, at almost €17 billion. Senator Marie-Louise O'Donnell made a point about the number of trees planted per day. Consider what we are spending on the health system per day. Can Members tell me why we are not getting it right? It is because of vested interests.

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