Minister accused in attack over deepening crisis at Sligo hospital emergency department.

Ambulances queued up outside ‘because of no beds in the unit.’

‘Nurses and doctors at the end of their tether.’

Sligo News File Online

An election candidate is blaming Health Minister Leo Varadkar for the crisis in the Emergency Department of Sligo Regional Hospital.

Cllr. Eamon Scanlon, Fianna Fail
Cllr. Eamon Scanlon,
Fianna Fail

Ballymote-based Eamon Scanlon said overcrowding in the unit has now become “the norm.

“Over the past few months hundreds of people have been treated on hospital trolleys, in chairs and in corridors without any privacy or dignity.” he said

“Staff have expressed serious concerns about patient safety on numerous occasions but the Health Minister and the Government are not listening.

“Nurses and doctors at the hospital are at the end of their tether.”

Scanlon, a Fianna Fail councillor and former TD, said the situation was “wholly unacceptable.

“The Health Minister’s hands-off approach to the Emergency Department crisis is seriously compromising patient safety and eroding staff morale.

“We had a situation last week where 9 ambulances were queued up outside the Emergency Department because there were no beds for the patients in the unit.”

Fine Gael and Labour closed more than 50 beds over the past five years, he said.

“Only 14 beds were opened to deal with winter capacity – far short of what is needed to cope with demand.

“This Government’s short-sighted measures and bogus budgets have led us to where we are. …the Health Minister has failed to allocate the resources needed to ensure that this demand is met.”

Calling for urgent action, he said “we cannot afford to sit back and do nothing while our hospital services creep closer to breaking point. We need extra beds and staff for Sligo and we need realistic budgets to ensure a safe, dignified, efficient service for patients in the North West.”