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Proposed axing of A&E units would downgrade key hospitals – Ó Caoláin

12 January, 2009 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

Commenting on the HSE report on A&E services in the Mid-West region, Sinn Féin Health & Children spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin said its implementation would mean the downgrading of hospitals in Ennis and Nenagh.

He said:

"The HSE report on A&E services in the Mid-West was jointly authored by Teamwork, the British-based management consultants whose recommendations form the basis for the current policy of slashing services at local hospitals and over-centralising services in already overstretched regional hospitals. The report on the Mid-West is no different and would see A&E services taken from Ennis and Nenagh, leading to the downgrading of those hospitals and their eventual conversion to glorified day care centres. We are almost at that stage in Monaghan General Hospital where the HSE and Government propose to end all acute inpatient services early this year.

"We have repeatedly warned that the downgrading of Monaghan General Hospital was being used as a blueprint for hospitals throughout the State. This is clearly the case now and communities across the country will feel the effect in terms of poorer healthcare provision.

"We are determined to resist the plan to effectively close Monaghan General Hospital and I commend the people of Clare and North Tipperary for their support for their local hospitals and their determination to sustain the vital services they provide." ENDS

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