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Chaos in North East hospitals even before Budget cuts – Ó Caoláin

14 October, 2008


Sinn Féin Health spokesperson and Cavan-Monaghan TD Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has said there is "chaos" in hospital services in the North East. He was speaking this morning as it was announced that Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital will remain closed to medical and surgical emergencies until 1pm and will then be further reviewed. This closure began at 9pm on Monday.

This comes as staff in Louth County Hospital in Dundalk report that they have been told by management that surgical beds in that hospital will be reduced from 32 to 8 from next Monday.

Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

"Even before Budget cuts are announced we are seeing chaos in hospital services in the North East. Due to severe pressure on the A&E department in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda all medical and surgical emergencies are being diverted to Dundalk, Navan and Cavan.

"People's lives are being gambled with. We can only hope that there are no major emergencies during this shut-down period. This is happening because of inadequate bed capacity and insufficient staffing in front-line hospital services. It is due to bad planning by HSE management and the criminal policy of Government and HSE to centralise services in the Lourdes and in Cavan General Hospital.

"We have also learned that staff in the Louth County Hospital in Dundalk have been informed that the number of surgical beds in that hospital will be reduced from 32 to 8 from next Monday.

"If this is the chaotic situation now, what will it be like when the Budget '09 cuts are implemented and if the HSE proceeds with its disastrous plan to remove all in-patient care from Monaghan General Hospital to Cavan General Hospital without providing a single additional bed?" ENDS

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