Tallaght Hospital difficulties highlighted at Sinn Féin Ard Fheis
Sinn Féin representative Seán Crowe speaking at his party's annual Ard Fheis in the RDS Dublin at the weekend highlighted the difficulties facing Tallaght hospital during the debate on Health.
Crowe said, "My local Hospital in Tallaght is being downgraded and stripped of essential staff that are not being replaced when their contracts end.
"The hospital is short of Physiotherapists, Radiologists, Anaesthetists, Social Workers, Pharmacists, IT staff, Clerical staff and nurses.
"Tallaght's A&E treated 78,000 patients last year, one of the busiest in the state with one consultant, instead of the 4; it should have, according to a leaked HSE report.
"Political parties promised during the last election campaign that the future of Tallaght Hospital is safe. It is obvious that this is not the case with the hospital resources being stripped away almost on a daily basis. Mary Harney cares about health we are told but does she care enough about public healthcare provision. Private hospitals are not the answer. All they will do is widen the gap and reinforce the inequities already evident in our ailing health service.
"The human cost is mounting with a flawed system clearly failing many patients.
"The latest government plan is to move the National Children's Hospital in Tallaght and Our Lady's Hospital in Crumlin to the Mater site by 2012. This will leave the south side of Dublin, all of Kildare and Wicklow with no overnight beds for sick children.
"It can take up to two hours plus to get to the Mater site from Tallaght. I know because Sinn Féin in Tallaght timed it one morning by car, by bus and Luas and by bus alone.
"There is a thing called the Golden Hour, the difference between life and death. Many children stuck in traffic won't make that hour according to the ambulance drivers. They have grave doubts and cannot guarantee getting a sick child to the proposed Mater Hospital in that Golden Hour.
"The planned replacement for treating children is an urgent care centre, but this will only treat minor injuries and illnesses. Doctors in the Children's A&E tell us they deal with at least 3 life threatening cases a week.
"The downgrading of Tallaght Hospital is not just a local issue. The Tallaght Hospital Action Group and Sinn Féin want to reverse this disastrous decision. This decision affects all of us. Glorified clinics are not the answer. We would urge you to support our march on 29th of March leaving from Tallaght Hospital at 1pm and the Dublin Council of Trades Unions March in support of the Health Service at 3pm from the City Centre." ENDS