Don’t get sick in Ireland! – Emergency Department

I was once in A&E waiting from around 14:00 until after 01:00 to be seen and it is not a good experience. At the time, my GP was clueless and sent me to A&E hoping that they had a better idea, but luckily I felt fine and therefore the 11 hour wait was just boring and annoying, but had no bad impact on my condition.

A few years later I had to go to A&E in Germany because of a suspected pneumonia and the experience there was that I arrived at the hospital and was seen INSTANTLY. Now I know that that is not the case in all hospitals and not always (I only needed an X-Ray, I didn’t need to see a doctor.), but since then I would rather jump in a plane in an instance to leave Ireland if I needed help, than to to to A&E here.

The Emergency Department situation has been and still is a serious challenge for any Irish government and the HSE has now released a 560-page report about the situation and how to improve it. It seems there are a few good suggestions in in it, but I couldn’t believe when I saw that this report on the future of emergency medicine makes that ground breaking suggestion that patients should be assessed and either discharged or admitted within six hours of arrival in an emergency department.

Sure, 6 hours is better than 11 hours, but I can’t believe that this is the best they can aspire to. It should not take more than 1 (ONE!) hour to assess a seriously ill or injured person and it should take at least 15 hours or better more to look after someone with a cold /and wastes therefore the A&E resources) or (even worse) someone who is drunk.

There is, however, a disconnect between the article on and the headline. In the article a few suggestions by National Clinical Lead with the Emergency Medicine Programme Dr Una Geary are mentioned and they all sound good and positive. Only the headline mentions the 6 hours, nowhere in the article is it mentioned (and I didn’t read the 560-page report). So maybe the headline is not really fair?