I wish to acknowledge the distress overcrowded Emergency Departments (EDs) cause to patients, their families and frontline staff working in very challenging working conditions in hospitals throughout the country.
This is a very busy period for our health services, with many hospitals reporting significant numbers of patient attendances. For the first quarter of 2019, the number of patients attending hospital EDs increased by 7.6%, and the number of ED admissions increased by 4.7% compared to the same period last year.
However, despite the significant increase in demand, our health services have managed better this winter than in previous years. While any patient on a trolley is a patient too many, figures from the HSE have shown a very significant reduction in the number of patients waiting on hospital trolleys so far this year.
In relation to the specific information requested, I have asked the HSE to provide this to the Deputy directly.