Nearly 4,500 patients over the age of 75 waited longer than 24 hours in an emergency department since the start of the year, according to figures obtained by Fianna Fáil spokesperson on health, Stephen Donnelly.
“The bar was set very low when the target was introduced by the HSE, and yet it has been missed literally thousands of times," he said as correspondence from the HSE confirmed that 4,349 people over 75 watied over 24 hours in an emergency department since January 1.
These figures are disgraceful and despite the fact that they have decreased on previous years, it’s still not acceptable to have some of our most vulnerable people treated in this manner."
“Sitting for hours in an A&E Department is wearying, even for a person in the full of their health. To have a person, aged over 75, sit in such an uncomfortable and stressful setting for over 24-hours is further compounding their ill-health.
“A lack of basic bed capacity is a fundamental problem in health care in Ireland and if the Minister can’t get to grips with even the basic problems, three years into his tenure, then we are going to see thousands more over 75s languish in A&E’s across the country," he added.
The figures come out after another poor month for Irish hospitals in terms of trolley numbers.
According to the INMO's trolley watch, there were 9,015 admitted patients who were forced to wait without hospital beds in May 2019.
This is a 114% increase on May 2006, when figures began with University Hospital Limerick having 1,102 patients on trolleys last month.