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The current hospital / A&E crisis



  • Registered Users Posts: 5,834 ✭✭✭ Cluedo Monopoly

    Hospitals stretched to their limits, says INMO (

    The President of the Irish Association for Emergency Medicine, Dr Fergal Hickey said the current pressure on emergency departments is "the latest in a series of worsening situations".

    Speaking on RTÉ's Drivetime programme, Dr Hickey, who is also a former consultant at Sligo University Hospital said Ireland is entered the clinical winter of 2022/2023 with too few hospital beds and "the dogs on the street know that".

    "Emergency departments have been under pressure for months on end and this is just the latest in a series of worsening situations," he said.

    Dr Hickey added that Ireland has 2.8 acute hospital beds per thousand of the population, while the OECD average is 4.3.


    There was a doctor on the radio this morning saying we have the same number of acute beds as we did in 1981. Crazy stuff.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,847 ✭✭✭ Gregor Samsa

    This is the main problem, Ireland spends a lot on healthcare, but employ too many useless paper pushers.

    Here's the breakdown of roles employed in the HSE for November 2022.

    Total staff is 155,227

    Total for Management & Administrative is 25,224. That's 16.3%

    I'm not saying this isn't too high, but what do you think the correct number should be? And what do you base that on?

  • Registered Users Posts: 114 ✭✭ babyducklings1

    How do other countries manage their health care systems? Do we have more sick people? In winter probably yes due to our wet climate , respiratory illness, flu, plus an ageing population. etc etc. Year in year out, especially around this time it’s always the same story but worse than ever this year. And gps aren’t taking new patients either. Long waiting times for appointments. Maybe only a troika for healthcare could sort it at this stage. Just don’t get sick in this country .

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  • Registered Users Posts: 35,995 ✭✭✭✭ Boggles

    INMO are partly blaming Covid, calling for a new mask mandate.

    Are those people allowed to? 😕

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,617 ✭✭✭ spaceHopper

    I’ve had to bring my children to the GP 3 times since November, I’d no problems getting an appointment for that day or early the next day depending on when I called. 

    I had to being my 79 year old mother to the out of hours GP service in Drogheda. I’d no problem getting an appointment for that after noon. And it was a very efficient services when I got there. I've been to A&E with my mother and the staff did their best but but it's a Sh1t show due to under staffing

    It is not problems of to many people attending A&E when they don't need to. You have 700+ people waiting on trollies to be admitted. These are people who have been seen and accessed by a DR who has admitted them, clearly they need to be there.  Not moving them up stream into the hospital is clogging up A&E and they still need to be looked after by the staff in A&E as well as them coping with new arrivals.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,603 ✭✭✭ Cordell

    Given that expenditure per capita is quite high, well above OECD average, but the results aren't, it's not a question of funding, but efficiency.

    I don't know how many are too many, but it's not just the numbers and salaries paid, it's the inefficiency and overhead that exacerbate the problem.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,283 ✭✭✭ SuperBowserWorld

    The magical Irish medical card.

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,939 ✭✭✭✭ recode the site

    This is the type of inefficiency we used to hear about, beds being blocked to access diagnostics, unbelievable it’s still happening. Private insurance won’t cover this sort of thing at all when one goes that route.

    Do one thing every day that scares you

  • Registered Users Posts: 163 ✭✭ hello2020

    its better to take a flight to a foreign country like Turkey/Poland etc for medical treatment than wait for 11 years for a MRI !

  • Registered Users Posts: 21,363 ✭✭✭✭ Larbre34

    And so why does a triage function exist and why is it not being used to not only rank the seriousness of presentation, but also to turn away people who have absolutely no medical need to be at an ED, but could could go to a GP or CareDoc or PCC or even a Pharmacy?!

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,834 ✭✭✭ Cluedo Monopoly

    I talked to a pharmacist about the flat 7Up remedy for upset stomachs. She said it used to work but not anymore. 7Up replaced the sugar with sweeteners which can actually inflame stomachs even more. They change from sugar to sweetener as a result of the sugar taxes.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,105 ✭✭✭ Deeec

    While I do broadly agree with your post it is now impossible to get a GP appointment and this is contributing to the problems in hospitals and A & E departments. The advice the receptionists in my GPs office are giving everyone they cant give an appointment to is to go to A & E - now its wrong advice but thats what they are saying. I seldom contact my GP unless kids, husband or myself are seriously sick ( partly due to the high cost being honest) - when I do contact them we do really really do need to see a doctor but cant get appointments anymore. I then have to resort to ringing VHI or doctor on call just to get a prescription - in fact since before covid none of my family have got to see a GP face to face. I disagree that people are choosing to go to A & E rather than see their GP - its just impossible to see a GP!

    To fix the issues the problems need to be solved from Gp's right the way up. The whole health service from primary care right the way up is a mess. Despite being with the same GP practice since I was a child - Im still registered with the practice but there is literally no service if you are sick and need to see a GP urgently.

    Also medical card holders are blocking up all services largely because they dont have to pay and will go use services even for minor ailments. Those of us who pay for everything think twice before going to bothering our GP or going to A & E.

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,939 ✭✭✭✭ recode the site

    I’ve said it on Twitter but I’ve seen some very poor quality triage at play. I don’t think some of them even would have the competence to turn people away. I attended a course given by senior paramedic instructors in DFB & they shared examples of the sometimes very poor triage that can occur. Not always so of course, but not all triage nurses are as competent as each other. A good one will, eg, suspect sepsis/meningitis may be developing, another will just box tick it as “flu”.

    Do one thing every day that scares you

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,127 ✭✭✭ Jarhead_Tendler

    If the HSE was managed properly and the doctors like your wife treated better could these vacancies be filled from here or abroad? I don't envy anybody having to work under the conditions your wife does. There has to be a better way for both staff and patients. Does she see any way that things could or will improve? It must be very taxing for her and indeed you and your family both physically and emotionally

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,039 ✭✭✭ Sunny Disposition

    Read in the Irish Times today that Ireland has less than three beds per 1,000 people, compared to an international average of five. So it's not surprising that things are so bad in winter.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,246 ✭✭✭ maninasia

    Impossible to see a GP in many places within a week or two now. Some wont even take phone calls. Many refusing new patients.

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