A Fine Gael TD has compared a hospital emergency department to a “South American” facility and described “shocking” conditions after she waited over seven hours before leaving with her child — who was not seen by a clinician.
Kate O’Connell voiced concerns to party colleagues after she witnessed severe stress among staff and chaotic scenes while waiting for her four-year-old to receive care at Crumlin Hospital last Sunday.
She told the private Fine Gael parliamentary party in Leinster House conditions at the hospital were “the worst” she had ever seen and that it was like “something out of a South American country”, colleagues said.
The TD recalled how staff were “very stressed” and how she waited over seven hours but then left.
She said was afraid she may be recognised or even “lynched” by other parents there with children.
As revealed by the Irish Examiner earlier this week, the
Health Minister Simon Harris is now set to be grilled by his own party TDs and senators over the health crisis and hospital problems at next week’s Fine Gael parliamentary party meeting.
Earlier, Ms O’Connell told the Oireachtas health committee of the “shocking” conditions at Crumlin. She told the meeting the situation was “wholly unacceptable” and that she had witnessed children vomiting, with broken arms and head injuries all mixed together waiting for care.
She asked if airborne viruses would be prevented from spreading in the new children’s hospital.
The practicing pharmacist said she left the hospital emergency department with her child after seven hours — without being seen by a clinician.
Ms O’Connell’s stark description of emergency care for children comes after Taoiseach Leo Varadkar this week acknowledged such departments were under a huge “amount of pressure”.
He said numbers of children had been affected by the respiratory syncytial virus, or the norovirus, and that there were increased numbers of patients with a chest infection and the vomiting bug.