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Day of action against hospital overcrowding this weekend


CONCERNS Cllr Michael Kilcoyne

Michael Gallagher

Next Saturday’s national day of action against hospital overcrowding is the ideal opportunity for the people of Mayo to protest about issues at Mayo University Hospital, according to Cllr Michael Kilcoyne.
The Castlebar-based politician believes the dignity of Mayo people is being eroded every single day in MUH and there doesn’t seem to be any end in sight as constituents who feel degraded after attending the hospital’s Emergency Department ask him for help.
“It’s a disgrace. The people of Mayo are frightened out of their wits. They don’t want to go to the ED because what’s happening there is beyond words. The staff are trying to hold back the tide every day.
"They’re trying to look after the patients and have to be commended for their work in awful conditions, but the place isn’t fit for purpose and hasn’t been for many years.
“We were promised a new Emergency Department many years ago, but that was just pie in the sky. We get nice words and hand-wringing about the state of the hospital from government politicians in Mayo, but that’s all we get,” he added, before stating the dignity of patients is being severely impacted in the current Emergency Department.
“It’s a free-for-all in there. People’s privacy is almost non-existent. The dignity of our people is being impacted because the place is jammed despite the best efforts of staff,” he continued.
Cllr Kilcoyne, a member of the HSE Regional Health Forum, West, said next Saturday’s protest outside MUH at 1pm is an ideal opportunity for the people to show their displeasure at the situation in the hospital.
“If you’re happy with the current situation and if you’re happy that the Government have reneged on their promise to build a new Emergency Department and if you’re happy to see trollies backed up out the door, then you shouldn’t bother with the protest.
“However, if you want to show you’re angry; if you want to tell the government and the powers-that-be that you’re sick of it and refuse to be taken for granted then you should be there at one-o-clock,” Cllr Kilcoyne concluded.
Among those organising the protest is Aontu’s Paul Lawless.
“People are furious over the continuing damage that is being done to our health service. Government are blaming people for getting sick. This is incredibly cynical. It’s not happening by accident. It’s a direct result of years of cuts to staff, hospital beds and A&Es at a time there has been significant population increase. In 15 years the government closed eight A&Es.
“In November 586 people were forced to wait on trolleys at Mayo University Hospital and this is absolutely intolerable. We urge the people of Mayo to join us in big numbers on Saturday,” Lawless stated.