Photo credit: Gript

“I wouldn’t let him run a bath”: Senator slams Health Minister Donnelly

“I wouldn’t let him run a bath.”

That’s what Independent Senator Sharon Keogan said on Tuesday of Health Minister Stephen Donnelly amid spiralling hospital waiting times.

Minister Donnelly issued a stark warning of a “perfect storm” this week for the HSE, saying that the already-strained health service is facing even further A&E pressure in the near future. The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) claims that emergency departments are experiencing the worst hospital overcrowding since records began.

The HSE alleges that although an increase in respiratory illnesses such as RSV, flu and Covid-19 was anticipated during winter, as happens every year, this surge came earlier than expected, leading to unprecedented strain on facilities.

The crisis has reportedly become so intense nationally, particularly in University Hospital Limerick, that the HSE is urging patients not to check into emergency departments unless all other alternatives have been considered.

Speaking on the situation last night at Beaumont Hospital, Minister Donelly said that delays in emergency admission were “not acceptable” and “never acceptable.”

However, Senator Sharon Keogan responded to the Minister’s comments on social media, tweeting that she “wouldn’t let him run a bath.”

“He should have been replaced in the reshuffle,” the Independent Senator said.

“He did nothing but flute around for 2.5 years on ‘fluffy issues’ instead of dealing with management, recruitment & improvement of services.”

The Senator included the hashtag #TrolleyWatch, referring to the high number of patients on trolleys for lack of beds, particularly at University Hospital Limerick.

Reportedly, patients at that hospital are on trolleys which are being “crammed together,” in a crisis of “chronic and persistent overcrowding in the emergency department,” which has been ongoing since at least 2009.

According to INMO, a record 931 admitted patients are currently waiting for a hospital bed nationally – 171 cases higher than the previous overcrowding record of 760 cases in mid December.

Of the 931 patients on trolleys, 767 of these are in emergency departments.

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