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Reilly supports SIPTU protest at Our Lady's Hospital, Navan

1 May, 2008

Meath Sinn Féin Councillor Joe Reilly has supported calls from workers at Tara Mines for the retention of the Accident and Emergency Department at Our Lady's Hospital, Navan. Speaking before attending a SIPTU organised protest at the hospital this evening Councillor Reilly said HSE enforced cut backs will continue to be resisted by the people of Meath.

He said, "The very basis for which the Minister for Health Mary Harney used to strip hospitals in the Northeast of essential services has been blown out of the water in recent weeks with the admission by Minister Dermot Ahern that there is not one red cent to build the proposed regional hospital.

"The recently published OECD report shows that the Minister's plans for regional hospitals throughout the state are not based on international best practice and that she only looked at the model used by England. Further research would have shown that countries such as France and Germany provide general hospitals of 500 beds for a catchment size of 150,000 people whereas England's system is based on catchment sizes of 450,000 to 500,000.

"Despite all this the Minister and the HSE continue to push forward with the slashing of essential services in hospitals in the Northeast with no sign of the promised regional hospital. This is unacceptable and these cuts will continue to be resisted by people throughout the Northeast.

"The people of Meath will not accept any further downgrading of Our Lady's Hospital in Navan. I will be fully supporting the miners from Tara Mines at this evening's protest against the planned removal of the Accident and Emergency Department at the Hospital. There are over 500 workers working at the mines which are approximately 400 yards from the hospital and it is best practice to have an accident and emergency service close to such a working environment.

"The continued downgrading of Our Lady's Hospital in Navan will continue to be resisted by the people of Meath." ENDS

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