HEALTH Minister Simon Harris has commented on the ongoing overcrowding crisis at Mayo University Hospital.
In response to concerns raised by Mayo TD Lisa Chambers, he said provisional TrolleyGAR data for April highlights that the number of patients waiting on trolleys in the Castlebar centre increased from 145 in 2018 to 359 in 2019.
He elaborated: "The HSE has advised that hospitals are reporting very high levels of demand, high patient acuity and high bed occupancy, especially in the over 75 years old cohort of patients.
"In addition, delayed discharges are above the expected activity threshold set out in the national service plan for hospitals, while community health organisations are reporting constrained options for supported discharges, particularly in relation to home support and long-term care."
His comments were made during a week in which the HSE apologised to a patient left waiting five hours in an ambulance outside Mayo University Hospital before being admitted for treatment.
The incident occurred one day last month when seven ambulances were backed up outside the hospital's emergency department for an extended period.
Meanwhile, independent Councillor Michael Kilcoyne and independent candidate, Harry Barrett, have agreed a common position on the promised extension to the accident and emergency Unit in Mayo General Hospital.
The statement reads as follows:
"The time has come now for serious political action on the extension to the Accident and Emergency unit at Mayo General Hospital. We have agreed a joint position on this matter and we now commit to raising this serious issue in every forum, to lobbying the Minister for Health at every opportunity and to protest if necessary until the promised extension is delivered.
"The state of the accident and emergency unit has come up at the doors on numerous occasions. People complain about a lack of privacy, about indignity of waiting on trolleys and the unbearable stress placed on older people who, not only have to deal with their own illness but but also the cramped and uncomfortable conditions in the accident and emergency unit.
'Money for an extension to the unit was promised in the winter of 2017, but nothing has happened since. Our worry is that the overspend on the National Children's Hospital in Dublin have pushed the extension to work hospital to the bottom of the list. The newly appointed CEO of the HSE has stated that his main priority is to stick within budget.
"Our priority now, if elected, is to put this issue to the very top of the political agenda in Co. Mayo. The money promised for the extension must be delivered and it falls on us to be the strong independent voices to fight for the people in this very important matter.”