Tuesday, February 14, 2006


Jeez, Louise, if you live in Ireland it appears it would be best not to get sick. The first report below is from Ireland On Line. The second section below is from the Irish Nurses Organization (INO). The INO has launced a post card campaign which affords the general public an opportunity to express their views on the overcrowding, directly to the T├ínaiste and Minister for Health and Children, Ms Mary Harney TD. It is only one aspect of the INO's“Enough is Enough” campaign. The campaign highlights the appalling state of the Accident and Emergency (A&E) departments. Below you will find some of those messeges sent by the public.

Nurses hit out at 'intolerable' overcrowding

Nurses at one of the country’s top hospitals today warned the number of patients awaiting beds had reached intolerable levels with some on trolleys for eight days.

The Irish Nurses Organisation (INO) said staff were unable to cope with 63 patients on trolleys in the A&E Department of Tallaght Hospital, and another 12 in the day ward also awaiting beds at the one time.

“Some of these people are chronically ill. People who will maybe spend the last days of their lives on those trolleys, it is just sad,” Dave Hughes, general secretary of the organisation, said.

“They really deserve a better form of care than they are getting.”

Mr Hughes said immediate action must be taken to resolve the situation.

“Nursing staff are unable to cope they are at their wits end,” he said. “Immediate action must be taken by the hospital.”

Mr Hughes said the hospital could not sustain the pressure any longer and beds must be freed up by admitting those capable to nursing homes, going off-call for emergency admissions and cancelling elective surgery.

Mr Hughes said the numbers of people on trolleys awaiting beds at Tallaght Hospital had been high every day this year, but it had now become intolerable.

The INO said questions must be asked about the hospital’s ability to manage their bed capacity.

The organisation said it would be delivering its postcards to homes surrounding the hospital as part of its campaign to highlight to the Government the problem of overcrowding in hospital A&E wards.

Mr Hughes said the postcard on overcrowding would give the general public an opportunity to voice their opinions on the matter to Health Minister Mary Harney.

The INO said the completed postcards can be returned by freepost to the organisation which will then arrange to have them delivered directly to the Health Department.

Messages to Minister

Message: Our local Casualty Department looks like something from the 3rd world, and not a rich country like Ireland. Never mind trolley waits, we have wheelchair waits. there are not enough trolleys, and even if there were more trolleys, the area is so small that more trolleys wouldn't fit. So, do you want to know where this 'Old Women in a shoe' hospital is? It's Letterkenny Hospital in Co Donegal.

Message: Blaming Accident and Emergency (A&E) staff and belittling their roles is not the way to improve the health service. i would love to see how Mary Harney would cope with patients, relatives, doctors, managers, surgeons etc etc all at one time without the help of her assistants! By god she wouldn't last an hour in the department!!!

Message: Mary Harney, you should be ashamed of your self. Trying to belittle nurses in a bid to make it look like you are doing some thing about the shockingly bad health service. Its high time you delivered, at least some of what you promised.

Message: Mary, it is time to end the suffering, indignity and embarassment of patients destined to spend nights on trolleys in crowded A&E departments all over the country. We, as a country, deserve better.

Message: If Mary Harney spent less time at the government dinners she might have a better chance at fixing the health service. She'd also want to stop blaming the nurses for the problems in the hospitals because without them there would be no hospitals....

Message: please stop the suffering of patients and the stress placed on the nursig staff by the overcrowding of accident and eergency units across the country .How on one hand can you promote high quality health car when our a&e units are overflowing with patients

Message: Tanaiste, The conditions the sick, the elderly and small children have to endure in this modern wealthy society are inhumane.I Believe it is an infringement of our basic human rights and borders on abuse. I demand the madness ends here, and you fufill your duty to the people to whom you are obliged to serve.

Message: Would you like to watch your husband dying on a trolley from terminal cancer in severe pain on a trolley for 11 days waiting for hours to get additional paid relief due to shortage of staff. The doctors and nurses do the best they can in desperately overcrowded conditions. The situation in the hospital made a terrible time for me & two young sons so much worse. These are real people Mary have some compassion & start treating us like human beings. You have the power to stop this.

Message: First World Economy, Third World Health Service - Our sick and old deserve better. Shame on you.

Message: Mary, Mary, quite contrary, where did your Patients die? Sitting on chairs, collapsed on trolleys, in the hallway where they lie!

Message: I experienced our A&E crisis last year when my brother ended up in hospital 100 miles from home. He was a like a homeless person on a trolley for days with his possessions in a black bin liner under his trolley (for anyone to steal), with zero privacy and no proper facilities for meals and no lights out at night as he was in a corridoor. It is really third world here and makes me wonder what we are funding through our taxes not to mention our hefty private insurance charges so we're not on a waiting list if God forbid, we get sick one day.

Message: When are you going to fix the medical crisis in this country.? We are one of the richest economies in the world and we have the one of the worst medical setups possible. The money is there make us proud ! An efficient medical service is one of the most basic human rights we deserve.Get the finger out and at the end of the day action is louder than words so do what you are being paid handsomely for, supply us with effcient medical services now!!!!!!

Message: "Are you off your trolley Mary?"

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