Limerick TD says delays treating elderly at UHL are 'borderline criminal'

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

Deputy Maurice Quinlivan said the figures are “shocking”

Deputy Maurice Quinlivan said the figures are “shocking”

MORE than 1,700 patients over the age of 75 had to wait in excess of 24 hours to be treated at University Hospital Limerick last year, figures a Limerick TD has said are 'borderline criminal'.

Sinn Féin Limerick city TD Maurice Quinlivan has voiced his concern at the figures, which were released in response to a Parliamentary Question submitted by his Oireachtas colleague, Deputy Louise O’Reilly.

“These patients are often among the most vulnerable people due to their age and the additional medical needs that can sometimes accompany aging. Being treated urgently prevents escalation of injury and ensures safety and swift treatment,” he said.

According to the HSE figures, there were 11,261 recorded incidents of patients aged 75 or older who had to wait for more than 24 hours for treatment having presented at hospitals across the country last year.

“The situation was particularly bleak in University Hospital Limerick where 1,746 elderly sick patients waited over 24 hours to be seen. The highest number in any hospital across the State,” said Deputy Quinlivan.

“It is unacceptable that anyone is left waiting on a trolley for over 24 hours, but it is borderline criminal that elderly people are,” he added.

Deputy Quinlivan is demanding that immediate action is taken to ensure the figures are not released this year.

“We need more ambition in meeting targets for treating elderly patients from the HSE and the Minister for Health. If this situation is not rectified then lives will be put at risk resulting in fatalities,” he said in statement.

“Furthermore, we need to see the immediate movement on the implementation of the recommendations of the bed capacity review and the Slainte care report,” he added.