“People expect us to be in the next government”
Staff at Sligo University Hospital fear that lifting restrictions on international travel could lead to an exodus of frontline staff to countries with better wages and working conditions, according to Sinn FÃ©in spokesperson for health, David Cullinane. Waterford TD met with hospital management, as well as members of SIPTU and the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organization (INMO), during a visit to Sligo last week. And workers have reportedly told him that while staff retention is an issue across health services, ironically, it is the pandemic itself that is preventing the situation from worsening. âUnions and hospital management were concerned that although some nursing and frontline positions have been created, once aviation opens up and restrictions ease elsewhere, they could lose much. of that staff for the benefit of Australia or other countries, just because of the working conditions and the pressure here, âCullinane told the Sligo champion. Sinn FÃ©in chief said hospital staff had offered severe assessments of the overcrowding problem to the SUH, with issues of bed capacity, resources and staff exhaustion on foot from the pandemic chief of Covid-19 among their concerns. âThe number of people presenting to the emergency department in Sligo is up from previous years. There are challenges related to the capacity of hospital beds, which was the biggest issue raised by hospital management. âEssentially, this is one of the main factors that causes people to wait in the hallways or not see people quickly enough. The hospital just doesn’t have the beds, âhe said. âIn terms of scheduled care, if you need knee or hip replacement or surgery that requires aftercare, more often than not these procedures are canceled because they don’t have beds. post-operative surgery available, and that’s because of the pressure on the emergency department. In August, SUH emergency medicine consultant Dr Mick Sweeney called on Health Minister Stephen Donnelly to provide staff and additional funds to address what he called an overcrowded situation “without previous âto the hospital. The doctor told OceanFM the hospital waiting room was “packed”, with patients on carts “in all the hallways entering and exiting the ward.” Deputy Cullinane said tired hospital staff already feared a new influx of patients with an increase in Covid-19 and regular flu cases expected this winter. âIt looks like a dark winter for frontline staff and patients. Talking with the health union, especially INMO, staff exhaustion was the biggest problem. âThey can see the numbers coming in to emergency departments and they’re already at record levels, so the question is what that will look like in November, December and January. âThey’ve faced a horrific last 18-20 months and are looking at some very difficult months ahead. It is the same in all acute care hospitals. Deputy Cullinane said the reports from the front line matched complaints received by his party colleague Sligo-Leitrim TD Martin Kenny, who said last month he had been contacted by nurses who had “the lucky to have a 30 minute break in a quarter of an hour. “” There are challenges due to the lack of bed capacity in Sligo. People have no respite. “Nurses, in particular those in intensive care, have to take care of patients and their breaks are disrupted or shortened because they are reminded. “Their shifts are long, they are tired and exhausted. They can no longer give. In August, Dr. Sweeney blamed the increase in the number of people presenting to emergency departments on a widespread allaying of fears about Covid-19, patients who had been cocooning are now vaccinated and seeking treatment for long-standing illnesses. “The patients arri wind in greater numbers and are sicker, âDr. Sweeney said at the time. MP Cullinane suggested the capacity issue is a symptom of the system’s failure to make treatment available outside of a hospital setting. âWe are not fully integrating health care. A lot of people go to the emergency room because they have no other choice. âGP service after hours is not what it should be. The only option for people in need is to go to the emergency room. I hear the same from the national ambulance service, which is called to people who simply cannot have access to a general practitioner outside opening hours, âhe said. âWe also don’t manage people with chronic pain in the community like we should. I would like to see community assessment units operating outside of acute care hospitals. With these units, patients can be sorted into the community, as opposed to the first port of call being an emergency service. âThe reason we see overcrowding in emergency departments is that when things go wrong it’s like a pressure cooker, it just adds up. The 2022 budget, announced last week by Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe and Public Expenditure Minister Michael McGrath, contained an additional â¬ 1 billion in basic spending on health services and an additional â¬ 800 million in spending related to Covid. According to the government, the additional health spending will make it possible to hire the rest of the 7,200 new employees targeted in the 2021 budget and the 750 in the 2022 budget. Sinn FÃ©in’s alternative budget proposed an additional 1.4 billion euros in spending health care, with new loan accounting. for less than half of that amount. Mr Cullinane said expanding hospital buildings to create new unique isolation rooms would also help reduce overcrowding. âIt’s the same in Sligo, Cork and Limerick – the space is not there to put beds in the wards. What these hospitals want are simple isolation beds rather than trying to cram beds into existing wards, which is not possible in some places and is not what we should be doing. “, did he declare. âLook at the 42 bed unit that is needed in Sligo. It should be a new structure, so capital funding should be provided for it. In the alternative budget, we have provided 828 additional beds for acute and community care – 600 on the acute side, 6,500 staff to open these beds and also provide safe staffing levels and more staff in the community.
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