The Sinn Féin leader dismissed efforts by the Taoiseach to claim that the decision on Roscommon was taken as a result of this year’s Mallow HQIA report.
Referring to the earlier 2009 Ennis HQIA report, Deputy Adams said that Fine Gael and Labour already knew from this “the HQIA position”.
The Sinn Féin leader said that “the way to deal with a hospital that is unsafe is to make it safe and to say that you have no other option demonstrates a lack of vision and imagination”.
Text of DeputyAdams’ remarks in the Dáil:
“Taoiseach, your handling of the Roscommon Hospital crisis, even here today, is an example of ‘the old ways of politics’ at their very worst.
During the election both you and the Labour leader Eamon Gilmore promised to maintain services at Roscommon Hospital.
By claiming today, and since you reversed that commitment, that the 2011 HQIA report means you have no option but to close the A&E services at Roscommon - by doing that, you compound the offence.
Because you knew the HQIA position before this.
In 2009 it recommended that, ‘smaller hospitals be re-designated for minor injuries and non-acute cases.”
And Fine Gael set their face against that recommendation and opposed it very trenchantly. And in my opinion correctly. And it is in that context Taoiseach that you made the pre-election commitment on Roscommon.
In the full knowledge of what the EQIA position is.
And yourself and Labour are now doing exactly what you accused Fianna Fáil of having done and to add insult to injury the HSE admitted that there has never been an inspection of Roscommon hospital.
So, Taoiseach the important issue – will you honour – because your promise was the right thing – will you honour your commitment to restore A&E reverse your decision to withdraw acute services from Roscommon hospital”.
In his supplementary the Sinn Féin President asked the Taoiseach to confirm whether he accepts the HQIA position on downgrading and cutting essential services to 9 other hospitals. “Can you confirm this?
And in the interest of telling the people the truth can you tell which hospitals will lose emergency services? And when will they be withdrawn? And will you not accept that what you’re doing in Roscommon is what Fianna Fáil did in Louth, in Ennis, in Nenagh and Monaghan.”
Text of Mr. Adams supplementary question:
“When Fianna Fáil used the 2009 HQIA report to justify the withdrawal of emergency services from Ennis Hospital James Reilly rightly accused the government of starving smaller hospitals of resources to make them unsafe and of then producing reports to prove this and to justify their closure.
Precisely and exactly what you have just done.
The way to deal with a hospital that is unsafe is to make it safe and to say that you have no other option demonstrates a lack of vision and imagination.
I spoke to the Roscommon Action Group and they have challenged in great detail the figures put forward by the Health Minister around various statements that he has made in the last week or so.
You say that you accept the HQIA recommendations in respect of Roscommon. They have also recommended that 9 other hospitals will be downgraded and lose essential services.
Can you confirm this?
And in the interest of telling the people the truth can you tell which hospitals will lose emergency services?
And when will they be withdrawn?
And will you not accept that what you’re doing in Roscommon is what Fianna Fáil did in Louth, in Ennis, in Nenagh and Monaghan.”