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Closure of Monaghan ventilation unit a sad milestone – Ó Caoláin

7 April, 2008


Commenting on the closure today of the ventilation unit in Monaghan General Hospital, Sinn Féin Health spokesperson and Cavan-Monaghan TD Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin said it exposed the hypocrisy of Minister Dermot Ahern's statement last week that the focus should be on existing hospitals as there was not 'a red cent' to build a new North East regional hospital.

Deputy Ó Caoláin said, "Today, April 7th, marks another sad milestone for healthcare delivery in County Monaghan and in the North East region as the ventilation facility at Monaghan General Hospital is closed. This unit was a vital component of the Hospital's High Care Unit. People in Monaghan who have depended on the ventilation unit for care, including emergency care, will now be forced to travel to Cavan General Hospital.

"This is a step in the ongoing drive, led by the HSE under Minister Harney and CEO Drumm, to strip Monaghan General Hospital of all but a handful of services, reducing it to a day clinic. This is being done regardless of the severe impact on patient care.

"When he made his statement last week saying that there was not a 'red cent' in the coffers to develop the proposed regional hospital at Navan, Minister Dermot Ahern called for the focus to be on existing services in the region's hospitals. The continuing cuts in such services expose the hypocrisy of the Minister's statement. If he is a true advocate for concentrating on our existing hospitals, then why has he not led, as the most senior Fianna Fáil politician (his words) in this region, the opposition to the downgrading of local hospitals such as those in Monaghan and of the Louth County Hospital in his own town of Dundalk?

"I state again that the departure of Bertie Ahern as Taoiseach offers a fresh opportunity for a radical new direction in health policy. Unless Government-supporting TDs, including Dermot Ahern, press for such a change their utterances amount to nothing but hot air." ENDS

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