A Cork woman has called for the health system to be scrapped after her 90-year-old father was left waiting for a hospital bed for almost 24 hours.
Ballincollig man Bartholomew Murphy, who has diabetes, arrived at the emergency department (ED) at Cork University Hospital (CUH) at around 8.30pm on Tuesday and was eventually put on a trolley at around 11.30pm.
It was almost 6pm on Wednesday before a bed was available, to the huge frustration of his family.
Mr Murphy’s daughter Bernadette Walsh called for the system, which she described as “breaking at the seams” to be scrapped, saying there are “too many chiefs” and not enough people on the ground.
“They’ll have to unravel the system as it is because everyone’s passing the buck and there’s internal fighting, while the real issues, caring for people and their dignity and wellbeing, are not being addressed,” she said.
“This isn’t just about my father, it’s about everyone’s parents, everyone in Ireland.
“Unless change is implemented, nothing will happen and that’s my concern.”
Ms Walsh described staff within the hospital as exceptional but said the system is failing them and their patients.
“They said that even if the Pope himself came in, they wouldn’t be able to get him a bed,” said Ms Walsh.
“If we’re doing this now with our elderly and vulnerable, what’s it going to be like in another couple of years?
“We have a rapidly growing population but we can’t even look after the people that are here now.”
Ms Walsh revealed her mother, aged 89, was distraught at the situation.
“We also had my mother there because she wanted to be there, supporting my father,” she said.
“In the end, she was so weak we had to get a wheelchair for her because she couldn’t walk.”
Ms Walsh’s mother was a representative of the nurses’ union in the past.
“She’s 89 and said she has two things that worry her; having her funeral paid for and her healthcare in place,” added Ms Walsh.
“She said ‘I can guarantee my funeral but I can’t guarantee my healthcare’.
“‘What are we supposed to do?’ she asked me.”
Ms Walsh called for people to support the staff within the health system and demand change.