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Flu victims are pushing Cork hospitals to the limit

ALMOST 60 patients were lying on trolleys in Cork hospitals yesterday amid warnings of a major spike in flu cases and appeals for the Minister for Health to get a grip on the crisis.

New figures have revealed that 6,032 patients waited on trolleys at Cork University Hospital in 2016, with yesterday’s figures setting a record high for a single day nationally.

There were 59 patients on trolleys at emergency departments at CUH and the Mercy University Hospital yesterday and a record 612 people on trolleys across the country.

Fianna Fáil health spokesperson Billy Kelleher said the latest figures make “grim reading”.

He said the Government's failure to tackle the issue of overcrowding was putting lives at risk.

“It has now gotten to a stage where the HSE believes it is acceptable to have 300 to 400 patients every day lying on trolleys waiting for admission. It’s not.” Meanwhile, local GP John Sheehan has warned of a major spike in flu cases.

He said: “We received a warning a couple of weeks before Christmas about viral infection and since then there has been a big increase. A lot of people are quite sick, particularly elderly people and young children.”