FIFTY people waiting on trolleys today at University Hospital Galway


Fifty people were waiting on trolleys today at University Hospital Galway, according to today’s figures by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation.

A total of 664 people are on trolleys across the state.

Due to overcrowding in hospitals across the country, the INMO is calling for the first two weeks of March to be treated as an emergency period in the health service.

Speaking today, INMO General Secretary, Phil Ni Sheaghdha said: “The next two weeks must be afforded emergency status.  This means extraordinary measures should be put in place to focus on recovering from this adverse weather event, ensuring prioritisation of emergency care and this will require all non-urgent and routine cases to be cancelled during this period.

“We note and welcome the HSE statement that cancellations will be in place for all routine elective cases tomorrow, March 5.  Unfortunately for the already overburdened health service this must be extended. In this crisis all measures to properly resource and staff the health service must be explored and the assistance of services in the private acute hospitals must also be sought.

“The dedication to duty of all health care staff, our nurse and midwifery members, medical and ambulance staff, and the examples of co-operative working between the civil defence, army and Gardaí in ensuring staff got to work and were able to deliver health care in very difficult circumstances, is a true example of selflessness and pride in the job they do every day. This is to be commended and the INMO now requires the employer to ensure practical appropriate plans are in place to cope with the aftermath of this crisis,” she said.