Pat Buckley TD for Cork East has slammed the government and the HSE for its failure to address the trolley crisis, which has led to 54 patients being on trolleys in Cork University Hospital to date.
He said that this was a direct result of a government failure to reopen beds, improve primary and community care and recruit needed staff.
Deputy Buckley said:
"At present 54 patients are lying on trolleys in CUH and 17 more in Mercy Hospital. This number is nearly 3 times the average number for 2017 which was the worst year in a decade. These are not just statistics these are people, our sisters, our brothers, our children or parents.
"They are being failed along with the whole of Cork who depend of services which they can access when needed.
"The problem causing the trolley crisis is multifaceted but it is solidified and exacerbated by government inaction on a number of key issues.
"Sinn Féin have worked hard to highlight these problems and propose solutions but they have fallen on deaf ears so far.
"There is an urgent requirement to step up bed numbers across the state which were cut during the economic crisis. We need an additional 500 beds reopened. This would require us to recruit new doctors and nurses to staff these beds.
"We need to refocus on primary and community care to provide better outcomes for patients which can help prevent problems arising, and treat issues outside of the A&E department with additional GP and other support staff.
"Investment in step down and home care facilities would pay dividends in the long run by providing better care and stopping the overcrowding in A&E.
"These solution require funding but more importantly political will which is clearly lacking with this government. Without investing in our services and our health as a consequence then we will continue to see the A&E overcrowding and trolley crisis worsen and next time it may be your loved one in the trolley. This cannot wait and it cannot be ignored."