Reports of deceased lying on hospital trolleys ‘is distressing and unacceptable’ – Carthy
Sinn Féin MEP for Midlands North West Matt Carthy has expressed true shock at the news today that dead bodies were lying and decomposing on hospital trolleys in corridors in Waterford.
Carthy said: “Every week there is some new scandal outlining the total crisis and chaos in our healthcare service across the country. People are becoming more and more concerned about the deterioration we are seeing in the level of healthcare provision, including scandals, inequality, scarcity and long waiting lists.
“But bodies decomposing on trolleys in corridors, leaking bodily fluids and making closed-coffin burials necessary? The pathologists’ letter puts it best when they write: ‘The trauma imposed on the bereaved is almost unspeakable.’
“The HSE was informed in 2004 that this mortuary was unfit for purpose, and the letter outlines deep concerns by practitioners about the poor and antiquated state of mortuary and post-mortem services at UHW. But nothing was done. How is that possible? How is it possible that a full 15 years after this issue was raised, cadavers are decomposing on trolleys, possibly in front of their loved ones and other patients?
“This is a desperately sad situation for the bereaved family members, and for the staff who have been forced to work in these shocking conditions. Health Minister Simon Harris needs to apologise for these devastating events; make a commitment to investigate the causes behind the situation; and implement a swift and effective plan to ensure the situation is resolved immediately. This includes ensuring that if similar problems are raised in other facilities across the state, they must be swiftly resolved also.
“The Irish people are losing confidence each week in our health service. The massive public support for the nurses’ strike in recent months was a public acknowledgement that the system is broken and cannot go on as it is. The nurses were fighting for all of us to access healthcare with basic dignity.
“We have had more than a decade of ‘crisis’ headlines and scandals in our health system. Despite this, the fact that the health service has deteriorated even further in recent years is a true indictment of Fine Gael and its useless appendage, Fianna Fáil.
“Our health system has been in a level of crisis for many years due to cuts, chronic underinvestment and deliberate outsourcing and privatisation by Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil-led governments. Well, a scorched-earth approach leaves you with a dysfunctional disaster.
“Sinn Féin is committed to ending this two-tier system and ensuring all people have ready and affordable access to the best-quality, dignified care – instead of this chaos and abominable treatment of human beings.”