The hospital trolley crisis has hit record levels with 760 patients affected.

An email sent to the HSE by Dr Brendan McCann, the head of the emergency department at University Hospital Waterford, has warned of horrific consequences.

Dr McCann pointed out that research in Britain showed that 1 in 83 patents die as a result of waiting over 6 hours in emergency departments.

He wrote that ‘At UHW, this is about two a week or more than 100 a year. I would also point out that our waits are longer than six hours so the figure is likely to be higher.”

Yet this is only one hospital and if we move on to the national figures, we are talking about an estimated 8 people a day possibly dying as a result of the hospital crisis.

Moreover, as Dr McCann says, figure could be higher because patients are waiting for longer than 6 hours in many hospitals.

Health Minister, Simon Harris, should stop his PR games and declare a national health emergency.

An immediate campaign must be started to raise the salaries of nurses and doctors so that hospital wards can be staff. Private hospitals should be brought into public ownership and integrated into the health service. Serious measures must be taken to save lives.

Eoghan Ó Ceannabháin is the People Before Profit candidate for the Dundrum ward in Dublin Rathdown. He is a musician, a Psychology graduate and a native Irish speaker. Eoghan is part of a newly politicising generation of young activists who are no longer willing to accept a political system that allows thousands of people to remain homeless, that leaves tens of thousands of people on hospital waiting lists, that leaves asylum seekers languishing in the glorified prisons that are the Direct Provision system, and that is doing nothing to stop an existential threat to the human species due to climate change. The water charges and repeal movements have shown over the last few years that people power can win positive changes, and Eoghan believes we can draw inspiration from these victories in other struggles. As a Psychology graduate, Eoghan has a major interest in mental health, and is particularly concerned with a system that is a breeding ground for mental distress. With people now being forced to work longer hours, experiencing mortgage distress, paying exorbitant rents, childcare and other costs, and with almost 800,000 people living in poverty, it is little wonder that we are experiencing a mental health crisis. While the increased awareness of mental health issues in recent years is welcome, it has not come with any significant action on the part of the government to improve the situation. Eoghan believes the fight for improved mental health is two-faceted: We need to fight for better services, but we must also fight for a better society that provides people with their needs and allows them to flourish, explore their own creativity, and enjoy their lives. Eoghan has been heavily involved in campaigns for housing, repeal of the 8th amendment, ending direct provision and many other issues over the last few years. He believes that real change can only come through grass roots campaigns from below and if elected, he will use his position as a platform for progressive ideas and to further build these campaigns.

© 2020 People Before Profit