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04th Jan 2023

Minister for Health believes pressure on hospitals will likely get worse

Katy Thornton

minister health hospitals

“We are likely to see more pressure.”

The Minister for Health has said that there will be likely more pressure put on Irish hospitals due to the rise in respiratory illnesses in the coming weeks.

This comes after it was reported that hospitals saw the highest number of people waiting on trolleys ever recorded in the state, with the HSE advising people to consider going to their GP or minor injury units ahead of emergency departments.

Following a visit to the emergency departments at St Vincent’s and Beaumont Hospital, Stephen Donnelly said: “The advice I have from the chief medical officer is the modelling is difficult in terms of being accurate.

“However, what I can tell you is the HSE’s view today, when I met them, was that this is likely to get worse, we are likely to see more pressure.

“They don’t believe that the flu wave has peaked.

“What we want to see happen obviously as quickly as possible is that the flu wave peaks and then recedes because what I’m hearing repeatedly from the nurses, from the consultants in the hospitals, is more and more patients are coming in with the flu, and particularly those who are older or those who have other underlying conditions, it is making them quite sick.”

He added that the current flu wave is “very severe” and has hit earlier than normal, alongside a “perfect storm of RSV, flu, Covid obviously, as well as all of the normal pressures.”

There are currently nearly 1,500 people currently in hospital with those illnesses as the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (Inmo) said 931 patients were counted as waiting on trolleys in Irish hospitals.

This is the highest figure reported since the trade union began the count in 2006.

From that number, 767 were on trolleys in emergency departments while 164 were on trolleys elsewhere in hospitals.

Figures show there are almost 700 people in hospital with Covid-19 while RSV cases are beginning to surge again.

This article originally appeared on Her Family 

Header image via Shutterstock

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