The Sinn Féin leader also accused the government of taking decisions that are intent on privatising the health service and “abandoning the public ownership model of health provision”.
The Louth TD referenced the tragic case of Dualtagh Donnelly who bled to death at his home in Dundalk while waiting for an ambulance to arrive.
Teachta Adams said:
“Last month was the worst October on record for numbers of patients on trolleys. Almost 8,000 citizens spent time on trolleys. They included a 91-year-old patient who spent 29 hours on a trolley in Tallaght Hospital’s emergency department.
“In the first 10 months of this year almost 80,000 admitted patients, were on trolleys, the highest ever figure for the first 10 months of any year since Trolley Watch began. That’s the size of a small town.
“According to the INMO, for the 15th month in a row, October 2015 saw an increase in the level of overcrowding in Emergency Departments. Today (Wednesday) there are 374 patients on trolleys. That is a scandalous figure and the government should be ashamed of its failure to tackle this issue effectively.
“Also in October 25 year old Dualtagh Donnelly bled to death while waiting for an ambulance to arrive, despite the fact that his family home is only five minutes from the Dundalk ambulance station and Louth County Hospital where the A&E department has been closed.
Dualtagh Donnelly’s mother Oonagh said; “I feel my son died because of politicians policies”.
“The President of the Irish Hospital Consultants Association Dr Gerard Crotty has said the cause of A&E overcrowding is a lack of capacity because not enough money has been allocated to deal with it.
“This is a deeply serious problem that the government is failing to get to grips with.”
The Louth TD referred to a speech last week by the Minister for Health Leo Varadkar who proposed that CEO’s of hospital groups should be allowed to transfer management of hospitals to private providers.
Gerry Adams said:
“Mr Varadkar also said hospital groups should be able to conduct business in the manner of semi-state companies “outside the constraints of public service rules”.
These are shocking and revealing comments which highlight the ideological position of this Government which seeks ultimately to privatise our health services, leaving patients at the mercy of a profit margin.
“The silence of the Labour Party in the wake of Minister Varadkar’s Thatcherite proposals is notable.
“The Ministers comments are evidence that this government’s ideological position is about privatisation and that the long term goal of the government is the abandonment of public ownership of our public health service.”