Most people would avoid going to Irish hospitals unless their life depended on it.

A shock new poll shows the public's confidence in the health system lies in tatters, amid serious overcrowding in our A&Es.

The Ireland Thinks poll for the Sunday Independent shows almost three-quarters would only attend A&E if their life depended on it - a quarter would go if referred by a GP - and only 2 per cent would go if they felt unwell.

Meanwhile an expert in emergency medicine has predicted the A&E trolley chaos could cause up to 50 unnecessary deaths per week while it continues.

Stephen Black, a data scientist from Belfast, is basing his findings on the results of a major study examining links between long A&E waits and mortality.

It's also emerged that Health Minister Stephen Donnelly raised concerns with the HSE in the summer about the prospect of hospital overcrowding this winter and questioned the number of consultants working weekends.


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