IRELAND'S HOSPITAL crisis is worsening, with the number of patients waiting for hours on a trolley before being given a bed seeming to grow by the day.
University Hospital Galway (UHG) is the second-worst affected hospital in the entire country, second only to University Hospital Limerick.
Today alone, there are 51 patients without a bed in UHG, according to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO).
Now a Garda Investigation is underway to determine the details surrounding claims that a 74-year-old woman was assaulted by a drunk person in UHG while she lay on a trolley, where she had been left for 72 hours.
Allegedly, the elderly woman was found on the floor "screaming in pain" and suffering from a broken hip from the assault, according to her family.
She was then left for a further five hours without any X-Ray or pain medication, and heard nothing from the hospital until the family put in a formal complaint.
Independent TD for Galway West, Catherine Connolly, raised the issue with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in the Dáil earlier this week, saying the Irish Government had been "put on notice repeatedly about the state of the hospital".
“It is not fit for purpose,” she said of UHG. “It is number one on the risk register in terms of capacity.”
Ms Connolly said the woman was allegedly assaulted by "somebody who was drunk and roaming about with a carer but not being properly cared for", and claimed there was no security presence.
Mr Varadkar acknowledged that the government had been told several times that the hospital was not in a good state and said he was sorry to hear what the elderly woman had been through.
The Taoiseach confirmed that a Garda investigation had been launched, and claimed he would be speaking with the Minister for Health, Simon Harris, about what could be done.