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Baby Health in Winter Baby rushed to hospital by helicopter had to wait four hours for a bed, Dáil told

Baby Health in Winter


Baby Health in Winter Fianna Fail’s Dara Calleary (Niall Carson/PA)
Fianna Fail’s Dara Calleary (Niall Carson/PA)

A baby who had to be rushed by helicopter to Dublin’s Rotunda Hospital had to wait four hours to get a bed, Fianna Fáil TD Dara Calleary has said.

Mr Calleary said this incident was one of many which reflected the danger and chaos that dangerously-ill people face in Ireland’s emergency wards.

He said the launch of a new winter hospital plan today was “spin and hype”, arguing it contrasted with a ban on health staff recruitment.

“This child’s condition merited the use of ‘a chopper.’ But when she got to the Rotunda Hospital there was no bed for four hours,” Mr Calleary said.

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Baby Health in Winter Pearse Doherty (Liam McBurney/PA)


Pearse Doherty (Liam McBurney/PA)

The Fianna Fáil deputy leader also spoke of another case in Galway, raised in the Dáil some weeks ago, where a pensioner died some time after being assaulted on a hospital trolley.

The overcrowding in hospital emergency services was also highlighted by Pearse Doherty of Sinn Féin, who cited cases in Cork, Limerick and Galway.

“You simply don’t get it – you don’t get the scale of the problem,” Mr Doherty told Tánaiste Simon Coveney, who was replying for the Government.

“It is not rocket science here – you need to open beds in the health service. You need to hire more staff and end the moratorium on recruitment,” the Sinn Féin deputy leader added.

The Tánaiste rejected claims that the new winter programme was “spin”. He said the Government had committed €26m in extra funding and the plan was designed to avoid extra pressure on staff who were already trying to cope.

“What we are doing here is to try to keep people out of hospital, or to discharge them in a more timely way,” Mr Coveney said.



Baby Health in Winter Simon Coveney


Simon Coveney

The Tánaiste said he was very familiar with the problems facing hospital services. He said an extra one million home care hours would be allocated to help keep people out of hospital, but he warned that providing extra hospital beds required a committment to extra staff.

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