A Markethill man says politicians are to blame for his wife – in a serious condition in hospital and facing the prospect of heart surgery – waited 24 hours in A&E before being admitted to a ward.
And Alan Kemp says the situation at Craigavon Area Hospital is “beyond tolerable”, accusing the failure of government firmly for the shocking state of affairs.
His wife, Allison, was taken to Craigavon at around lunchtime on Monday, ordered there by her own GP.
Seven hours later they still had not seen a doctor and he felt compelled to vent his anger at the situation via social media.
He described it as “beyond tolerable” as he waited and worried about his wife, and called for prayers for Alison.
He did so only after an announcement that advised there were 108 people in the A&E queue with an eight-and-a-half hour wait to see a doctor.
And that came after he had already been waiting for the best part of the afternoon.
Alan – speaking to Armagh I on Wednesday morning – said he could “not fault the doctors and nurses one bit”, but rather blamed government – or lack of – for the health service debacle.
He told of the anxious times and worry made worse by the stretched health service, saying politicians were treating people here with “contempt rather than compassion”.
Alan explained: “Allison went in about 12.30pm on Monday and took approximately four hours to see someone in triage then made it to a cubicle in A&E for about 10.30pm.
“We waited here with nothing happening. There was blood on the bed from a previous patient and a blood-filled swab or something like it from a previous patient.
“I can’t blame the staff – they were so snowed under and people complaining but the system is wrong. What could they do?
“We then saw a doctor who was about to go off duty who was called out of the cubicle several times, leaving Allison sitting there at one point halfway through being examined – just left there as someone else was deemed more important.
“Allison then got scan after 2am and eventually made it to a ward 24 hours later.”
“Allison was sent by her GP for DVT – they found multiple clots and one in the chest. She’s serious and may need heart surgery as in the process they discovered something else.”
Alan said the situation has gone too far and called for people again to show their anger at the system.
He added: “We need to speak up for those who can’t and those who won’t.
“We’re not being looked after respected or protected by those elected to do just that.
“Yes my wife’s situation is heartbreaking, but so too are the many others being treated without compassion and with contempt by those in power.”
Alan has called for continued prayers for Allison in the days ahead and has been grateful for the support received to date.
But again he has praised the medics who are doing all they can in such circumstances.
“Maybe if it was illegal for politicians to have private health care and education things would be sorted by now,” added Alan.
“People voted for this it’s time the people spoke up and stood up. Politicians fighting over meaningless points of order and misplaced tradition is actually ruining lives.
“The best thing those ‘earning’ the political pound can do to help restore some decency to this nation is to resign and get a real job!”
A spokesperson for the Southern Trust said: “The Emergency Department in Craigavon Area Hospital is very busy and our staff are working very hard to treat everyone as quickly and safety as possible.
“We prioritise those patients with the most serious conditions, so those with less urgent symptoms may regrettably experience longer waits.
“We appeal to the public to only come to the Emergency Department if your condition is serious and urgent and to please consider your alternatives – your GP surgery, local pharmacy or Minor Injury Unit.”