Frank O’Rourke TD has reacted angrily to the news that 690 patients Over 75 enduring 24-hour waits in the Accident & Emergency Department of Naas General Hospital

Over 10,000 waited longer than 24 hours in an Emergency Department across the country so far in 2019 

Frank O’Rourke TD has said that the statistics are unacceptable and that waiting a full day in an emergency department is gruelling for a person in the full of their health let alone an elderly person who is experiencing ill-health.

                                                Naas Hospital

Frank explained, “Across the country more than 10,000 over 75’s have been forced to wait over 24 hours before being admitted or discharged from an emergency department so far in 2019. In Naas General Hospital alone this figure stands noticeably high at 690.”

“As we approach the winter months it’s inevitable that this number will only continue to rise. A lack of basic bed capacity is a fundamental problem in health care in Ireland and if the Minister can’t get to grips with even the basic problems, three years into his tenure, then we are going to see thousands more over 75’s languish in A&E’s across the country.”

“Stories of elderly patients being left lying in pain in emergency departments with no privacy are becoming all too frequent. The HSE’s own target of admitting or releasing all patients over the age of 75 within 24-hours is being breached literally thousands of times.”

“This is causing hardship to the patients, their families and to the nurses and doctors who are trying their best to cope with overflowing A&E’s. It’s totally unfair”


James Lawless has welcomed news that essential funding has been provided for an extension to Naas Hospital

The HSE Capital Plan 2019 recently allocated funding to the long awaited extension of Naas Hospital. The new endoscopy, day procedures and oncology units can now progress to the design stage of the process.

James commented, “This summer the County Council extended the planning permission for this extension, which was originally granted in 2014, and it is good to see that concrete funding has finally been allocated to this much needed project. I have raised this matter over the past few years with the Minister for Health, Simon Harris, and I will continue to follow up on this issue and ask that the extension proceed as quickly as possible following the 5 year delay.”


His comments come as Kildare County Council announce that it has decided to allow the HSE to extend the planning permission for a significant extension of Naas General Hospital. 

The extension would include a new endoscopy/day services unit as well as Physical medicine and oncology departments. 

James commented, “The extension of planning is welcome. However it also serves to highlight the HSE have stalled on this project since the original planning was granted in 2014. The endoscopy unit in particular is badly needed, I have visited the hospital to inspect existing facilities and I have raised this on the floor of the Dail with Minister Simon Harris. Whilst the planning is key and I welcome this decision, it is imperative that the HSE now press ahead with funding and concrete plans to develop this needed extension.”


Frank O’Rourke has said Simon Harris’s tenure as Minister for Health has been marred by outpatient lists he simply cannot get to grips with.

Deputy O’Rourke was commenting as figures revealed that there has been a sharp increase in the number of patients languishing on outpatient waiting lists at Naas General Hospital since Minister Harris took up office.

                                     Frank O’Rourke

Deputy O’Rourke explained, “In May 2016 when Simon Harris became Minister for Health there were 839 people waiting greater than 12 months for an outpatient appointment at Naas General Hospital. In February 2019 this number stood at 2,989, representing a 256% increase. Nationally, there are now 541,899 people waiting for an appointment with a consultant. That’s almost equal to the population of Connacht at around 550,000. When the numbers waiting for an appointment is set to surpass the population of a province surely it’s time for the Minister to take action. This is clearly a crisis yet we see very little appetite from Minister Harris to tackle these astonishingly bad figures. Having had first-hand experience of the consultants and staff in Naas General Hospital – I know they are doing their very best under challenging circumstances. They deserve more help from the Minister”, concluded Deputy O’Rourke.


 James Lawless has said that he and party colleague Jack Chambers raised concerns about the location and cost implications about the National Children’s Hospital two years ago but they weren’t heeded.

James commented, “The childrens’ hospital costs continue to mount and questions around price, specification and site have to be asked. My colleague Jack Chambers TD and I were saying all this two years ago but the government didn’t want to know.”

Below is an article from 2017 detailing Jack and James’ concerns.

Click here