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Appalling cuts at Lourdes Hospital must not proceed – Ó Caoláin

18 September, 2012 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has said that cuts at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda which a senior clinician has described as “appalling” must not go ahead as patients’ lives will be put at risk.

Lead Clinician at the Lourdes, Michael Staunton, in a letter to the HSE says that the cuts to intensive care and operating theatres could lead to “increased morbidity and mortality of critically ill patients”.

Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

“When the HSE announced its ban on overtime and the use of agency staff it was warned that front-line services would be gravely compromised. The letter from Lead Clinician and Consultant Anaesthetist at the Lourdes Hospital, Michael Staunton, confirms this warning.

“The cuts in the Lourdes will mean the closure of 16 in-patient beds, closure of day ward beds at night and at weekends, closure of one operating theatre for 5 to 6 weeks, closure of one Intensive Care Unit bed, reduced opening hours for the Acute Medical Assessment Unit, closure of beds in Louth County Hospital, Dundalk for ‘clinically discharged’ patients from the Lourdes.

“In his letter Mr Staunton makes clear that the cuts will have a very serious effect on the Intensive Care Unit and on operating theatres. In both cases services will be significantly reduced for patients and may have the effect of ‘increased morbidity and mortality of critically ill patients’.

“The Lourdes is the main acute hospital in the North East region covering Counties Louth, Meath, Cavan, Monaghan and also accepting many patients from North Dublin. For these cuts to proceed would be to put the lives and health of people in this region at risk. I will be raising this in tonight’s Dáil debate on the motion of no confidence in Health Minister James Reilly and demand that the cuts should not proceed.” ENDS

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