Political leaders are to blame for the hospital trolley crisis, The Hard Shoulder presenter Kieran Cuddihy has said.
On Tuesday morning, there were 931 people in need of a bed who were instead made to wait on a trolley or chairs.
It is the highest figure since the HSE began keeping records in 2006 and Kieran Cuddihy believes it is clear where responsibility lies.
“You will hear people blaming COVID, the flu and RSV,” he said.
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“Of course, COVID, the flu and RSV are problematic but they are not the problem. They are compounding a problem that already exists and has existed as long as I can remember in our hospital system.
“That problem is capacity. We don’t have enough beds, we don’t have enough nurses, we don’t have enough doctors.
“Over the last 10 years, our population has grown by half a million people and we spent most of that reducing the number of beds in the system.
“According to hospital consultants, we need about 5,000 more beds to get us up to international standards.
“Speaking of consultants, we don’t have enough of them either - [it’s] way, way below the European average.
“We don’t have enough nurses, we don’t have enough nurses in our acute hospitals, in our psychiatric hospitals, in our children’s hospitals.
“And GPs; how often do we hear that the solution to these crises in our hospital system is more community care.
“We don’t have enough GPs for the population as it currently is and about a third - more than a third of the GPs in our country - are 55 plus. In other words, they’re all going to retire in the next 10 years.
“So, that problem is going to get worse.”
“The main problem is a chronically under-resourced hospital system and the fault lies [with] our political leaders.”
Main image: Newstalk presenter Kieran Cuddihy in the Newstalk studio. Image: Newstalk.