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Ireland Mulls 7-Day Hospital Roster to Tackle Overcrowding, Minister with Suggestions

DUBLIN: Health Minister Stephen Donnelly Calls for Weekend Staffing Overhaul to Alleviate Hospital Overcrowding

Irish Health Minister Stephen Donnelly has advocated for a significant shift in staffing arrangements, proposing increased weekend work for healthcare personnel rather than relying solely on on-call or emergency services to manage the persistent issue of overcrowding in the country’s hospitals. Minister Donnelly conveyed this directive during a meeting with officials from the Health Service Executive (HSE), emphasising that the implementation of a comprehensive, full 7-day roster system is the key to mitigating congestion.

Minister Donnelly also participated in a session of the Emergency Department Task Force, a collaborative effort aimed at devising solutions to the ongoing challenge of hospital overcrowding.

The issue of overcrowding has plagued Irish hospitals for an extended period, prompting Minister Donnelly to stress the importance of implementing an emergency care plan designed to reduce the number of patients confined to trolleys.

Bernard Gloster, CEO of the HSE, has also voiced support for the minister’s proposals regarding roster reforms.

According to a report by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO), 385 patients who have been admitted to hospitals in Ireland are currently awaiting bed placements. Among them, 266 are located in emergency departments, with the remaining 119 situated in various hospital wards.

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