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Resignation of radiology director exposes HSE ‘slash and burn’ plan for North East

14 August, 2008 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD


Sinn Féin Health & Children spokesperson and Cavan-Monaghan TD Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has said the resignation of Dr. Patricia Cunningham as Network Director for Radiology for the North East HSE region (Cos. Cavan, Monaghan, Louth & Meath) is a very serious development given that she has stated that the HSE's aim is to deliver the cheapest possible service regardless of patient safety or need.

The Sinn Féin Dáil leader said:

"The resignation of Dr. Patricia Cunningham as Network Director for Radiology for the North East HSE region is a very serious development. It will be viewed with deep concern given the shambolic state of hospital services in the North East due to the flawed policy of the government and the HSE, under-funding and mismanagement.

"Dr. Cunningham has stated that the HSE's aim is to deliver the cheapest service possible 'regardless of patient safety or need, with disregard for the best clinical practice and no resources for the safe delivery of quality care'.

"This senior clinician felt compelled to step down in this way a month before the current review of thousands of x-rays and CT scans in the region was ordered. The HSE mismanagement she identifies has been well known to patients and staff in this region where hospitals have been downgraded and services underfunded and understaffed.

"Equally worrying is the HSE response which speaks of the 'fragmentation of services' across the region. The reality is that the HSE is allowing services in the five hospitals in the region to deteriorate in order to further its drive to centralise all hospital services, initially in Cavan and Drogheda and then, at some unknown future date,in a new regional hospital. But this regional hospital is itself in doubt. Meanwhile patients and front-line healthcare workers continue to suffer.

"I call for the early publication of the report on radiology and scanning in the North East and the reversal of the HSE's centralisation drive."

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