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Health Minister Stephen Donnelly due to talk bed shortages and hospital overcrowding at Oireachtas Committee today

Minister Donnelly's expected to say a multi-annual plan is in place with waiting list numbers down last year for the first time since 2015

Bed shortages and hospital overcrowding will be among the topics put to the Health Minister today. 

Yesterday, the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation’s Trolley Watch indicated that there was close to 600 people waiting on a bed in public hospitals across the country – 26 of them at St Luke’s General for Carlow and Kilkenny.

While Stephen Donnelly is later expected to tell the Oireachtas Health Committee that a multi-annual plan is already in place with overall waiting list numbers down last year for the first time since 2015.

However, Sinn Féin’s health spokesperson, David Cullinane, says that’s not being seen on the ground; “There’s no let-up for those who are working on the front line so what I hear from those who work in emergency departments, but also right across hospitals, is that they’re operating in a system that’s in perpetual crisis and while there is lots of good things that we can say about the public health service we have to be honest and say it is not meeting peoples’ health requirements”.