Protestors outside Mayo University Hospital on Saturday. Photo: Alison Laredo

Hospital protests just the beginning of massive campaign - Mayo rep

MORE hospital protests will be taking place across Ireland, including Mayo, as pressure ramps up to solve issues such as overcrowding and inadequate staffing in the health service.

The Aontú representative for Mayo, Paul Lawless, has thanked the group of people who joined them at last Saturday's protest outside Mayo University Hospital.

Mr. Lawless commented: “All across the island of Ireland this week, protests took place at 18 separate hospitals, including our local hospital here in Castlebar.

“Anyone who has spent time, either as a patient themselves or as someone accompanying a loved one, in the Emergency Department at Mayo University Hospital will be all too aware of the delays and danger posed to patients inside. The nurses on the frontline are doing a fantastic job in extraordinary circumstances, but they need better pay, conditions and more staff.”

He continued: “Nationally the health service has 700 consultant posts empty, 6,000 fewer hospital beds than in 2008, and 30% fewer GPs. The Minister for Health should be ashamed.

“Aontú are calling for the Department of Health to coordinate a meeting of all hospital campaign groups in the country so that we have a discussion to find a solution for the failed state of the emergency health services over Christmas.

“Our population has increased dramatically in recent years but the bed capacity, investment, funding and staffing levels have not increased to match it.”

Paul Lawless speaking at the protest against hospital overcrowding at Mayo University Hospital. PHOTO: ALISON LAREDO Photo by ALISON_LAREDO

Thanking everyone who attended Saturday's protest, Mr. Lawless stated: “Our campaign here is off to a fantastic start this year, and the idea of coordinating the protests to take place simultaneously across the country worked very well.

“We will most certainly be having more protests going forward.

“The current situation is unsustainable. Our hospital has been ignored for too long, and urgently needs attention and investment.

“This investment must be funnelled to the nurses and frontline services, rather than pumped into the many layers of management and administration in the country.”