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Latest memo confirms cuts to services are even worse – Ó Caoláin

12 October, 2007

A memo from the administration in Our Lady's Hospital, Navan, shows that HSE cuts there are having a wider effect than the closure of the orthopaedic unit for a month as announced on Thursday. Commenting on the memo, Sinn Fein Health spokesperson and Cavan-Monaghan TD Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin said:

"The administration at Our Lady's Hospital in Navan has told general practitioners and other primary care services on 9 October that it has been necessary to postpone medical and general surgical elective work due to an acute increase in emergency admissions. It also states that the Day Services Unit in the hospital is fully occupied by in-patients and patients are awaiting admission in the Emergency Department. The memo describes the situation as 'serious' and states that 'where it is absolutely necessary for patients to attend the Emergency Department, they may experience long delays'.

"Taken together with the news that orthopaedic unit at Navan is to close for an entire month, this latest development shows the impact of the current cuts on one hospital. We learn today also of a victim of a serious road traffic accident twice falling out of bed in Galway Regional Hospital because of lack of round-the-clock nursing care due to the recruitment embargo and the ban on hiring agency nurses.

"This situation is scandalous. An Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and Health Minister Harney have turned a blind eye to the suffering being caused by the HSE cuts over which they are presiding. These cuts must be halted before our public health services are plunged into even deeper crisis this winter." ENDS

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