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Drumm threatens more cuts for patients in North East – Ó Caoláin

8 April, 2008

Commenting on the remarks of HSE Chief Brendan Drumm on hospital services in the North East region on RTÉ this morning (Tuesday), Sinn Féin Health spokesperson and Cavan-Monaghan Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin said:

"HSE Chief Brendan Drumm has told the people of Cos. Cavan, Monaghan, Louth and Meath that regardless of whether or not the proposed regional hospital at Navan goes ahead, services will continue to be taken away from existing hospitals in the region. More cuts are threatened for patients.

"Professor Drumm has stated that services will be taken from Monaghan General Hospital, Louth County Hospital in Dundalk and Our Lady's Hospital in Navan and centralised in Cavan and Drogheda. This threat shows blatant disregard for patient needs in the areas served by the three hospitals experiencing cuts. The HSE also disregards the renewed pressure centralisation will bring on already hard-pressed hospitals in Cavan and Drogheda.

"We have seen up to eight operations per day being cancelled in Cavan while Drogheda is struggling with staff shortage. And the HSE is planning a further €300 million in cuts. Yet we are expected to believe Brendan Drumm when he says that centralisation and cost-cutting will result in a better service for patients.

"All of this proves that communities are right when they campaign to retain services at local hospitals because once removed those services will not be replaced and with more cuts on the way further centralisation will definitely result in poorer access to care for patients." ENDS

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