Fine Gael Wexford Deputy, Liam Twomey, today (Monday) said the reduction in the number of patients on trolleys at Wexford General Hospital is a sign that the Government’s plan for radical reform of our health service is reaping results.
“In June 2011, the Minister for Health, Dr. James Reilly TD, set up the Special Delivery Unit (SDU), the aim of which is to improve performance in the health service, with a focus on reducing the number of patients waiting on trolleys in our hospitals and also reducing waiting list times. We are now seeing real results in terms of each area.
“Where Wexford General is concerned, the number of people on trolleys last month compared with January 2011 has been reduced by 64%. In January 2011, 344 people were waiting on trolleys; that figure just two years later stands at 123.
“Improvements of this nature are key to delivering a health service that is fit for purpose and adequately meeting the needs of the Irish people. When consideration is given to the year-long picture, the improvements at Wexford General Hospital are even more pronounced, with 962 people counted on trolleys at the end of 2012, down from 3,846 at the end of 2011; a reduction of a staggering 75%.
“The determination of this Government to turn what was an ailing health service around so that we can bring an end to the unfair, unequal and inefficient health system and ensure that better health outcomes are achieved for all of our people is unwavering.
“There has been a reduction of 24% in the number of people on trolleys across the country, with 20,352 fewer patients on trolleys nationally in 2012 than in 2011. This success is being replicated in other parts of the health service, with a reduction of 98% in the number of adults waiting more than nine months for inpatient and day-case surgery during the same time.
“We now have a situation whereby there the morning trolley count figures with the INMO are no longer disputed. We now have a joint figure agreed each morning between the SDU and the INMO who communicate effectively to determine numbers accurately. This is in stark contrast to how the previous administration, under Mary Harney, conducted business.
“We have always said that this Government’s ambitious programme of reform and cost control would not be implemented overnight. However, we are now seeing real results in terms of how our hospitals operate. And the work will continue; once the SDU meets its stated targets, new, shorter targets are then being set so that hospitals are encouraged to keep improving. The reduction in the number of people on trolleys in Wexford General Hospital means a better hospital experience for the sick people of Wexford. I look forward to the continuation of this work and to the delivery of a better health service for all our people.”