Sinn Féin TD for Dublin South West Seán Crowe has expressed serious concern that Tallaght University Hospital is being put under enormous pressure by a lack of leadership by Government in its efforts to deliver safe and timely care.

Teachta Crowe said that the opportunity to build up bed capacity to tackle overcrowding had been squandered over the last four years by government.

The comments follow remarks made by Prof Conor Deasy, President of the Irish Association for Emergency Medicine, who warned of a “massive capacity issue” in hospitals across the state.

Teachta Crowe said:

“The situation in hospital emergency departments across the state including Tallaght University Hospital is chaotic. Workers are trying their hardest, doing long exhausting shifts and taking care of patients the best they can and I commend them.

“However, the Government abandoned patients and workers when they made a deliberate decision to underfund the health service in the Budget and failed to make investments in capacity over the last three Budgets. Hospitals simply don’t have the infrastructure that they need.

“There have been more than 160 patients on trolleys in Tallaght University Hospital so far this week. 54 of those just on Tuesday.

“It seems that Government has become immune to the unsafe, degrading, and undignified experience many patients face in overcrowded hospitals. People deserve help in the right places when they need it. Patients who need emergency or urgent care should not put off attending hospital due to long waits, but the long waits need to be addressed.

“Healthcare workers in Tallaght University Hospital are trying their best but are working with one hand tied behind their back because they lack the bed, diagnostic, and theatre capacity that they need.

“The opportunity to build up capacity over the last four years has been squandered. We know there is a 1,000-bed deficit across the state, and that is reflect in the trolley figures on a daily basis and in tens of thousands of cancelled appointments every month..

“The Government must urgently revise their budget for the health service in 2024 to target severe deficits – they must fund the promised 1500 hospital beds and deliver the statutory home care scheme. Local government TDs for Dublin South West must explain why they backed this appalling budget, despite the terrible consequences for the health service.

“Patients and workers in Tallaght University Hospital deserve better. A Sinn Féin government would get to grips with the crisis in our healthcare service and ensure patients get the high-quality, timely care they need.”