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Private for-profit hospital displaces promised psychiatric unit at Beaumont - O'Toole

24 January, 2008

Sinn Féin Councillor Larry O'Toole has described as "scandalous and shameful" the revelation in a report issued by the Irish Psychiatric Association today (24 January) that the site earmarked for a long-promised psychiatric unit at Beaumont Hospital has now been allocated for a private for-profit hospital under the Government's infamous 'co-location' scheme.

Cllr' O'Toole said, "Since before Beaumont Hospital was opened in 1987 people have been promised that a psychiatric unit would be developed there, replacing the unsuitable and antiquated facility at St. Ita's, Portrane. This promise has been repeated often but never been fulfilled. Now we find that the site earmarked for the new psychiatric unit has been allocated to the privateers who will develop their profit-driven hospital at Beaumont.

"The Irish Psychiatric Association has revealed that plans for the new psychiatric unit were at an advanced stage up to 2005. A 60 bed-unit was promised and local Deputy Seán Haughey stated in December 2005 that the project would be completed in 16 months. I have no doubt Deputy Haughey was sincere in his belief at that time but now the project has apparently been abandoned in favour of the infamous 'co-location' scheme.

"It seems that for Health Minister Harney and the HSE the profits of shareholders in private corporations come before the needs of people with mental illness. This is scandalous and shameful. Health Minister Harney must reverse this decision and ensure that the promised mental health facilities for the people of the Northside of Dublin are delivered as promised at Beaumont." ENDS

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