Donegal TD Pearse Doherty has said the government must immediately act on specific measures to alleviate the hospital trolley issue.
The Sinn Féin Dáil Deputy Leader said the government must begin to implement recommendations of the Sláintecare report and the Sinn Féin Dáil motion unanimously passed by the Dáil in January, in order to begin tacking the crisis.
The latest count from Letterkenny University Hospital, taken yesterday, showed that 26 patients were awaiting admission to the Emergency Department.
Deputy Doherty said: “The ongoing trolley crisis in our hospitals is a national emergency, but it is not being treated as such. The government must implement the recommendations of the Sláintecare report and the unanimously passed Sinn Féin Dáil motion from January which comprehensively details actions to tackle this.
“Minister Simon Harris has so far failed to deal with the issues that are causing this emergency. These are the issues of recruitment and retention of staff, capacity – failure to reopen closed beds, adequate step down facilities, and proper primary and community care.
“The Taoiseach and Minister for Health apologised when figures went over 650, but 500 plus is now the norm. Indeed, it is at 511 today, and no apology is given to those people.
“Minister Harris should acknowledge the scale of the problem, that there is a national emergency and that what he has done to date has not worked.
“At the very least, the Minister must open up all the closed hospital beds across the state to immediately stabilise the numbers on trolleys in the short term.”