IAEM expresses concern about the lack of focus on vital health issues in the current negotiations about Government formation
The Irish Association for Emergency Medicine is seriously concerned about the misplaced focus of the Fine Gael and Fianna Fail parties in their almost comical attempts to form a government. At a time where there continues to be dangerous levels of Emergency Department (ED) crowding with admitted hospital inpatients, their seemingly exclusive preoccupation on a charging mechanism for the provision of domestic water is a very serious cause of concern and is proof of just how little interest is taken by the two largest political parties in the major difficulties evident in the Health Service, difficulties that carry major risks of poor medical outcomes for the citizens of the country. Not only does the ED crowding problem persist and worsen, there are a myriad of other well-described health service problems that seriously impact on patients’ lives and wellbeing amongst them difficulties in accessing mental health services and primary care services in many areas.
Irrespective of what government the country ends up with, there is an inescapable need to finally and definitively tackle ED crowding unless the intention is to see further patients die unnecessarily. ED crowding is a problem that could be fixed with the necessary political focus; investment in bed capacity and taking steps to create the circumstances (adequate staffing and appropriate resources) to allow EDs to function optimally.
Before the General Election campaign, the Association launched the IAEM 10 , a road map for what needs to be done to ensure that Ireland’s Emergency Departments are able to provide the level of service that those medical and nursing staff working in them aim to provide and are capable of delivering, provided the impediments to service delivery currently evident, particularly crowding with admitted inpatients, are removed.
The country undoubtedly deserves better from those it elects to provide political leadership to the Irish people.