By Jim Morahan
NURSES yesterday broadened their campaign for action on overcrowding in hospital accident and emergency wards
Latest figures reveal there have been more than 300 patients on A&E trolleys every day this month - making overcrowding even worse than last year.
Postcards are being delivered to thousands of homes around the country, the Irish Nurses Organisation (INO) announced.
Houses near areas where the largest number of people are consistently placed on trolleys awaiting hospital beds are to be targeted as part of the INO’s protests.
INO general secretary Liam Doran said the postcard gives people the chance to voice their opinions on the overcrowding of emergency departments directly to Tánaiste and Health Minister Mary Harney.
"This postcard campaign was initiated at the request of patients and their relatives, to allow them to express their own personal views of their experience in overcrowded A&E departments," he said.
"A&E overcrowding, resulting in ill people being left on trolleys for extended periods, continues to worsen and should be of concern to everyone living in Ireland. This postal drop, in areas immediately adjacent to hospitals enduring severe overcrowding, offers the public the opportunity to express their anger and frustration on the matter."
Mr Doran said the postcards were this week being delivered to Castleblaney, Cavan town, Drogheda, Letterkenny, Monaghan, Wexford, south Naas and Tallaght in Dublin.
The completed postcards can be returned by freepost to the organisation which will then arrange to have them delivered directly to the Health Department.
Mr Doran said the problem could be solved over time if the Government agrees to and commits funding for additional beds required.
"This postcard allows the public to participate in the on-going campaign for Government action on this blight on our health service," he said.