Nearly 40,000 of the almost 200,000 people who presented to the Emergency Department (ED / A&Es) in Dublin and the midlands last year were seen in Portlaoise hospital.
And, there was an almost 70% increase in the number of patients patients who had to be accomodated on trollies in the Midlands Regional Hospital, Portlaoise last year. Portlaoise has the third busiest A&E in the region ahead of Tullamore and Naas.
The official HSE figures are among the staggering statistics in the leaked Strategic Plan that sets out the intention to cut 24/7 emergency cover from the Laois hospital.
The downgrade of the Midlands Regional Hospital, Portlaoise is a key plank of the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group five year strategy to reconfigure hospitals in Dublin and the Midlands.
The other hospitals are: Tullamore, Tallaght, Naas, Tallaght and St James's in Dublin.
Emergency medicine consultant at one of these sister hospitals, Dr Jim Gray blamed the state agencies for the trolley crisis.
"This is a national scandal that has been allowed to continue for more than a decade or more," he told RTÉ's Prime Time.
The Tallaght consultant said the trolley problem was a year round crisis and the flu crisis would cause a surge upon a surge.
Dr Colm Henry of the HSE said the solution would be for hospital groups and community health services to be more integrated. He said it is not sustainable to have people with chronic illnesses on trollies.
"The solution is outside hospitals," he told Prime Time
Key figures in the report from 2016 are:
18,684 patients had to be accomodated on trollies
4,244 people on trollies in Portlaoise
198,849 presentations to emergency departments
FULL TABLE FROM REPORT BELOW
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