Health services in Cork are in crisis due to a number of problems, including record overcrowding levels and recruitment difficulties, nurses have warned.
According to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO), last month, 1,079 hospital patients were left waiting on trolleys in Cork University Hospital alone. This combined with hundreds of frontline vacant positions and major shortages in community nursing has "plunged Cork health services into a crisis".
The INMO said that it has sought "urgent engagement" with health service management to deal with this "intolerable" situation.
It noted that there are also concerns about midwife-to-patient ratios in Cork University Maternity Hospital, as well as ongoing talks at the Workplace Relations Commission in relation to staff shortages in community facilities.
"Our members state that the conditions for patients and staff in Cork University Hospital are intolerable and unsafe. Health service management must take tangible steps immediately to relieve the misery for staff and patients," commented INMO industrial relations officer, Liam Conway.
He insisted that the recruitment process is being delayed at local level, leaving an already overcrowded hospital short staffed.
"Immediate action must be taken to address this issue. We cannot head into the autumn/winter period with no clear plan to address all of these problems," Mr Conway added.
Discussions on this topic are now closed.