10,000+ on trolleys in January

Figures included almost 200 children
  • Deborah Condon

Over 10,000 patients were left waiting on trolleys and chairs in hospitals nationwide last month, new figures from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) have shown.

During the first month of 2019, at least 10,350 admitted patients, including almost 200 children, were left waiting for a hospital bed. However, these figures do not include January 30, as INMO members were on strike that day. Therefore the actual January figures are even higher.

The worst hit hospitals during the month were University Hospital Limerick (970), Cork University Hospital (947), South Tipperary General Hospital (629) and Letterkenny University Hospital (587).

"At the heart of this problem is understaffing. We simply cannot recruit and retain enough nurses and midwives on these wages. Ireland's nurses and midwives are no longer prepared to tolerate these conditions, for themselves or for their patients," commented INMO general secretary, Phil Ni Sheaghdha.

INMO members are set to continue their strike action this month, with further 24-hour strikes planned for February 5, 7, 12, 13 and 14. During these times, nurses and midwives will withdraw their labour, providing only lifesaving care and emergency response teams.

Some 25,000 patients had medical appointments cancelled during the INMO strike on January 30.


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