Commenting on the contents of the Emergency Care waiting time statistics October-December 2015 released today Maeve McLaughlin said.
“These statistics show the only area of emergency treatment which is consistently reaching targets is in treating minor ailments.
“However, when it comes to more serious conditions the targets are almost never met.
“This begs the question – do all of those with less serious ailments really need to attend Emergency departments at all?
“Would we not be better served if increased funding was to be directed towards community care and early intervention to keep people out of hospitals?
“Are patients with less serious ailments attending emergency departments out of frustration at not being able to access a GP appointment?
“It is time for the proposals for Emergency departments brought forward a few years ago by the College of Emergency Medicine to be implemented.
“Properly funded care in the community and early access to GP service would, I believe,alleviate many of the pressures being experienced by those most in need of emergency care.”