Irish children wait up to 24 hours on trolleys as planning permission for new hospital refused
Health officials warn of overcrowding in children’s wards
Children are spending up to 24 hours on hospital trolleys due to a shortage of hospital beds, ER doctors claim.
The news comes as plans for a state of the art children’s hospital in Dublin were rejected on Thursday.
Health officials have warned that up to14 children per night are forced to spend the night on a hospital trolley with some spending their entire stay on the temporary beds, the Evening Herald reports.
According to the Irish Association for Emergency Medicine, numbers are "at historically high and dangerous levels", with waiting times at Crumlin Children’s hospital increasing by a staggering 700 percent.
"Not infrequently, children are spending longer than 12 hours on a trolley and in some cases over 24 hours,” Prof Ronan O'Sullivan told the Evening Herald.
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Doctors describe the overcrowding as ethically unacceptable and are blaming the problem on the 10 percent cut in pediatric beds, as admission rates have remained constant.
"The number of children who now receive their complete care in the pediatric emergency department is now eight times greater than in 2008,” he added.
The association has called on Minister for Health James Reilly to reopen hospital beds.
"We must reopen pediatric beds for a short, but predictable period each winter to accommodate the increased demand for short-term hospital care of children," said Dr John McInerney.
Meanwhile, officials at An Bord Pleanala, Ireland’s planning authority, have rejected the elaborate design proposed for the site of a new children’s hospital in Dublin’s inner city.
The ambitious €450 ($598) million design would see the existing Children’s hospitals in Temple Street, Crumlin, and Tallaght merge. Planners rejected the design over its height and size.
The deputy Prime Minister, Eamon Gilmore told the Irish parliament on Thursday that the government remains committed to building a new facility.
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