Figures released by the HSE have revealed that 854 patients over the age of 75 had to wait over 24 hours for care in University Hospital Galway‘s Emergency Departments in the first six months of this year.
Nationally, 7,700 patients over the age of 75 had to wait over 24 hours in Emergency Departments.
Commenting on these statistics, Sinn Féin‘s Mairéad Farrell declared that the health of older patients was being jeopardized.
“Older patients are often among the most vulnerable people in our hospitals due to their age and the additional medical needs that can sometimes accompany aging,” she said.
The Sinn Féin General Election candidate described the importance of older patients being treated ‘urgently’ to prevent the escalation of an injury while ensuring ‘safety and swift treatment’.
She predicted that 2019 would the first year that over 15,000 older patients would have to experience these excessive delays in getting treatment.
The ongoing recruitment and retention crisis across the health service as a whole is to blame, she said, for exacerbating this issue declaring that more patients are being treated than ever despite being in the midst of this predicament.
She was quick to emphasize her admiration for the ‘amazing job’ the staff in our hospitals do and praised them for doing ‘more with less resources’.
The Galway City based activist called for “more capacity, more staff and implementation of Sláintecare” as a solution to these pressing issues.