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1,077 People Leave Tullamore A&E Without Being Seen

Sinn Féin Candidate for the Tullamore Electoral Area in the 2024 County Council Elections, Aoife Masterson, has published data from the HSE which shows that 1,077 patients left the emergency department at Midlands Regional Hospital Tullamore in the first five months of the year without being seen.

This compares to 477 in 2018. Ms Masterson said that this is caused by extremely long emergency department waiting times of nine hours on average so far this year at Midlands Regional Hospital, Tullamore.

The candidate called on the Minister for Health to urgently review emergency department capacity at the hospital and to invest in community-based alternatives such as out-of-hours GP and late-night pharmacy services.

Ms Masterson said that, ultimately, more beds and staff are needed at Midlands Regional Hospital, Tullamore to reduce waiting times, as well as a significant increase in GP capacity.

Ms Masterson said: "1,077 patients left the emergency department without being seen in just the first five months of the year, in comparison to 477 for the same period in 2018.

"Waiting times in Midalands Regional Hospital, Tullamore emergency department have shot up to nine hours, which is driving patients to leave without being treated.

"The high number of patients leaving emergency departments without being seen is highly concerning. Patients are attending emergency departments because they are in need of urgent care and have nowhere else to go.

"Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have brought the health service to its knees, waiting times are worse than ever.

"GP practices are bursting at the seams. Hospitals are grappling with a lost decade of underinvestment. This is heaping more pressure on emergency departments.

"Tackling the crisis in our hospitals should be a priority for Government, but they have failed at every step. They have not made the investments in beds and staffing that are needed. Young graduates continue to emigrate in their droves. Meanwhile, there are record levels of spending on outsourcing to the private sector instead of building public capacity.

"The Minister for Health needs to get to grips with this crisis. We need an urgent review of emergency department capacity, and ultimately, we need more beds and staff for Midlands Regional Hospital, Tullamore.

"Sinn Féin would ramp up training places to increase staffing in hospitals, in the community, and in general practice to reduce the pressure on emergency departments. We would engage with healthcare workers and address the cost of living and housing crises to increase worker retention. We would invest in expanding hospital capacity on a consistent, multi-annual basis, as outlined in our alternative budgets, to tackle overcrowding in emergency departments."

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