Press Release

Statement from Minister Harris

“Today I held a teleconference with the chief executives of the country’s hospital groups to discuss the overcrowding and the very difficult conditions for patients and staff.

I thanked them for their work and that of their staff, and stressed the importance of having clinical decision makers in place in hospitals at key times to increase patient flow through the EDs. I also asked them to ensure all the beds that can be opened are opened, that the availability of diagnostics is increased and they continue to work to reduce the number of people who are in hospital, but could be discharged into the community. I assured the hospital group CEOs that all necessary resources will be made available to them in the coming days and weeks.

I want to reassure the public that all the Winter Plan measures funded by increased investment by Government, like increased access to home care, transitional care and diagnostics along with additional acute bed capacity, are being implemented to deal with the extra pressures our health service is experiencing.

I would appeal to everyone to listen to the public health messages of the HSE in the coming days and help our frontline staff by staying home if you’re ill.

I am committed to breaking the cycle of overcrowding in the health service.

To do this I am pursuing three priorities in 2018 – increasing bed capacity using evidence provided by the bed capacity review, implementing reform through Sláintecare and increasing services provided through Primary Care by negotiating a new GP contract.”