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Sharkey reveals major cutbacks at Louth County Hospital

18 October, 2008

Louth Sinn Féin Councillor and EU Candidate in the Ireland East Constituency Tomás Sharkey has revealed details of major cutbacks at Louth County Hospital. Councillor Sharkey, a member of the Dublin/North East Regional Health Forum accused the Government of being hell bent on closing services and neglecting the sick and elderly.

"The people of the North East are victims of a government that doesn't care about our health. Fianna Fáil and the Greens don't care about our health.

"Last year, the 32 bed surgical wards in Louth County Hospital treated 1,780 patients. 662 of these were planned admissions but 1,118 were admitted through Accident & Emergency. However, the government policies led to a closure of beds last summer. They cut 32 beds to 24. That was a 25% cut.

"Now the government policy is planning another cut in surgical beds - from October 20th surgical beds will be down to 8 beds. This means that we will be at nt do not care about our health; No budget has been cut for tax breaks to private hospitals. No cut has been made to the National Treatment Purchase Fund which pays multiples of the real cost of care to private investors.

"On the 16th April '07 the Green Party promised the retention of services in Dundalk as a key demand before they even consider coalition Dermot Ahern & Seamus Kirk have refused to act on a resolution of Louth County Council that they attend and explain their actions. The situation we are in is not solely the making of the HSE - the HSE was created by the Cabinet to carry out cabinet policy." ENDS

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