The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation has today called on the HSE to publish and implement a Plan B for dealing with the capacity crisis that is escalating within the public acute hospital system.

 The INMO wants all activity except urgent emergency care to be curtailed in the public hospital system.

 INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha says high numbers of patients are presenting to Emergency Departments across the country with 287 patients on trolleys today.

“From experience we know that if there are 287 patients for whom there is no bed in a hospital on December 30th, we know that figure will be tripled in early January. It is time now to scale back all activity within our public hospital system to emergency activity only.

Our public health service is too small to try provide emergency care, COVID care and carry out elective treatments. Urgent elective work must be prioritised through the private hospital system.

Portiuncula University Hospital has been acting in crisis mode in the last 48 hours because of high numbers of people presenting at its emergency department.  

We know that there are high levels of staff absences due to COVID related leave, anecdotally we are being told that many hospitals are having problems completing rotas. Our creaking health service is currently being held together by the goodwill of nurses and midwives who are cancelling annual leave and staying beyond their rostered time to ensure that wards are staffed".



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