A total of 610 patients left Portiuncula University Hospital Emergency Department without being seen in the first five months of 2023, according to data from the HSE.
That figure represents a significant rise in the number of patients leaving the hospital without treatment when compared to 422 such cases in 2018.
Sinn Féin TD Claire Kerrane this week responded to the data from the HSE, claiming that the current situation is a result of long waiting times of 6.8 hours on average so far at the hospital.
Deputy Kerrane has called on Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly to carry out an emergency review of capacity at Portiuncula University Hospital and to invest in community-based alternatives such as out-of-hours GP services and late night pharmacies.
“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,” Deputy Kerrane said.
“Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have brought the health service to its knees, with waiting times 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”.
The Sinn Féin TD said the hospitals crisis should be a priority for Government and claimed her party would take measures such as ramping up training places, increasing staff numbers, and engaging with healthcare workers.
“They (Government) 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,” she said.