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‘Obvious’ solutions to ongoing trolley crisis – IMO

IMO Vice-President and Consultant in Emergency Medicine Dr Peadar Gilligan commented: “There is nothing surprising about what is happening. It is the inevitable outcome of years of cuts and austerity in health services and until those cuts are reversed, the situation will deteriorate and worsen. This continuing crisis is extremely distressing for patients, doctors and all other healthcare staff. The problems in our emergency departments are a manifestation of the problems in the wider health service and are multi-factorial.”

Dr Gilligan outlined that there are insufficient beds to meet patient demand in the acute sector and in the community; too few consultants to be in a position to provide a consultant-delivered service; and the GP service is not resourced to deal with complex care

“The Government’s own healthcare capacity report clearly indicates that the level of beds is woefully inadequate to meet our population needs, we know we have too few doctors delivering care in our public health services yet the Government keeps on producing reports to tell us what we already know. What is needed now is a concerted investment programme that is frontloaded and not just piecemeal investment. Healthcare costs money and Government must face up to its responsibilities. It cannot continue to promise better services while at the same time refuse to fund them.”

Yesterday, in response to a record 714 patients on trollies in EDs and wards, the NAGP said: “Extra hospital beds is just one element, the other is supporting the transformation of the healthcare model. It is now a priority that we have integration of care, coordination of care and access to care around a GP-led primary care model.”

The Association added: “Dr Paul Grundy, the ‘godfather’ of the Patient-Centred Medical Home movement in the US and member of the Institute of Medicine, is visiting Ireland currently to meet with members of the Government. He is here to advise them on the strategy that needs to be implemented to deliver a coordinated care system rather than the episodic care that is being offered today. There is a complete system failure happening currently and the NAGP is exasperated at the lack of action being taken to drive change in primary care. Integrating the whole healthcare system to transform the upside-down model which is currently in place, is what is desperately needed.”

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