Updated: 05/01/17 : 12:16:11
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Ross expects Harris to 'kick ass' at HSE meeting

Transport Minister Shane Ross says he expects Simon Harris to “kick ass” when he meets the head of the HSE today.

The Health Minister is due to have talks with Tony O'Brien at his Department, as latest figures show 578 people on trolleys at hospitals around the country.

The figure is down from totals of over 600 in the past two days.

Minister Ross said that he has been speaking to his cabinet colleague this morning.

“I think it’s up to him and I think he intends to do it, to go in and kick ass today when he gets to talk to the HSE,” he said.

“It’s unreasonable to expect him, as Minister, to micromanage the service, in other words, to blame him for every time the trolley figures go up or down … but there obviously is a big problem there.”

Yesterday, INMO records showed that 602 people were waiting on trolleys in hospitals around the country - the second highest figure ever recorded - down 10 from the day before.

Ambulance transfer times usually average at around 20 minutes, but the current overcrowding crisis has increased the transfer time to between one to three hours in some hospitals.