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Harney and HSE cannot now even ensure basic services

17 November, 2008 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

Sinn Fein Dáil leader and Health spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has described the management of hospital services by Health Minister Harney and the HSE as "a shambles" after the HSE announced the shut-down of orthopaedic services for the North East region based at Our Lady's Hospital, Navan, from today.

Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

"A shambles is the only way to describe the management of our hospital services by the Health Minister Mary Harney and the HSE. Minister Harney and the HSE cannot now even ensure the provision of basic services such as orthopaedic care. The shut-down of orthopaedic services at Our Lady's Hospital, Navan is the latest blow to the healthcare services of people in

Counties Cavan, Monaghan, Louth and Meath.

"We have listened repeatedly to the mantra from the HSE and the Minister that efficiencies must be implemented yet here was an efficient unit with a relatively short waiting list and it is to be penalized. Long forgotten is the other mantra from the Minister and the HSE that front-line services would not suffer from cutbacks.

"People will now suffer pain and anxiety as a result of this cut. The few who can afford to have their orthopaedic services done privately will be able to do so in the burgeoning private hospital sector fostered by Minister Harney out of public money. Meanwhile public patients will again be treated as second-class patients.

"Minister Harney should intervene and ensure that the resources are allocated to prevent this shut-down from going ahead." ENDS

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