A radiologist at Letterkenny University Hospital (LUH), Dr. Conall Mac a Bhaird, has said that he was shocked at a recent experience in A&E in the hospital, and the intolerable working conditions of staff there.
In an interview with Dr. Mac a Bhaird on Barrscéalta on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, he said that he had visited A&E in Letterkenny University Hospital with a sick friend in the last week and that he was appalled by what he saw.
“I have never seen it as bad as it was that day, he said, adding that you couldn’t walk around due to overcowding.
"I don’t know how the staff can continue to work in those conditions,” he said.
He said that nobody should be asked to work under such circumstances, and that the situation was resulting in very low morale.
“No doubt about it. It’s not just in A&E either, it’s throughout the hospital, staff have extra duties, extra hours, and morale is very low, I’m only surprised that it’s not worse,” the LUH employee said.
He spoke about the need for reform and the burden of excessive bureaucracy on the health service: "There’s so much paperwork. We’re practising defensive medicine, defensive nursing, in case there’s a court case. We need to get rid of some of that bureaucracy, and to direct our attention and enthusiasm towards patient care again. We need to make it more personal and more humane than it is now.”
Dr. Mac a Bhaird called on the public to use their voice to put pressure on politicians and bring about change:“I don’t think there’s much political will to fix this problem. I don’t think we’re vocal enough about it. If you compare it with the protests over water charges in the last few years, we’ve got the emphasis on the wrong thing, we don’t have enough effort focused on fixing these problems.”