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13,941 Patients Without A Bed At UHL In 2019

Some 118,367 patients found themselves without a hospital bed in 2019, according to an end-of-year analysis supplied by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO). Of those affected patients, some 1,300 were children under the age of 16 years.

The figures clearly demonstrate that in 2019 we saw a rise of some 9% above similar figures produced in 2018, making it the worst-ever year for hospital overcrowding, since records initially began.

The worst month for overcrowding, during 2019, was November with 12,055 without a hospital bed. Figures for the months of October and September remained nothing to write home about either, with same analysis showing 11,452 and 10,641 patients, respectively, experiencing similar difficulties.

To the shame of our elected representatives here in Co. Tipperary, the worst-hit hospital in the state, in 2019, was University Hospital Limerick, with 13,941 patients left waiting, latter serving the residents of North Tipperary. Same hospital is situated some 79 kilometres (49 miles) from Thurles, via the M7, or some 1 hour & 10 minutes driving time, subject to traffic density.

South Tipperary General Hospital, serving the south of the county, had 6,942 patients in 2019 without a hospital bed.

The INMO end-of-year analysis conclude that under-staffing and the lack of bed capacity remain the key drivers when it comes to overcrowding. They point out that 411 fewer in-patient beds exist here in Ireland’s hospitals today, than existed a decade ago, despite our emerging larger and older population.

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