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Don't let them do to Ennis and Nenagh what they're doing to Monaghan - Ó Caoláin

10 February, 2009

Sinn Féin Dáil leader and Health spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has urged a strong campaign of resistance to Government and HSE plans to remove accident and emergency services from Ennis Hospital and Nenagh Hospital.  Deputy Ó Caoláin predicted that if centralisation plans went ahead hospitals would be reduced to “glorified day care centres”.


Speaking on a Fine Gael Private Members Motion in the Dáil this evening (Tuesday) Deputy Ó Caoláin said:


“The latest plans from the Government and the HSE to remove accident and emergency services from Ennis Hospital and Nenagh Hospital should be met with a strong campaign of resistance. In Monaghan our hospital has been steadily downgraded as maternity, A&E and a range of other services were taken away.


“Monaghan was the blueprint for the over-centralisation of hospital services in this State. We now face the threat of the axing in 2009 of all inpatient acute care in Monaghan General Hospital. Monaghan’s average 3,000 admissions per year will have to be catered for predominantly by Cavan General Hospital which is already severely over-stretched.


“The outlook for Ennis, Nenagh and other smaller hospitals is similar if the Government and HSE plans go ahead. It will mean loss of services, long distances to travel for patients and further pressure on other hospitals without the provision of additional beds and staff to meet the need.


“Nenagh General Hospital has set a high standard of service for smaller hospitals and its close relationship with local GPs is an example that should be followed.  GPs in Clare, North Tipperary, Cavan and Monaghan have all come out strongly against HSE plans in recent weeks.  But the Government and HSE, in pursuing their centralisation and privatisation agenda, are working against the interests of patients and against the advice of front-line healthcare providers.


“I commend the people of Ennis and Nenagh in their campaign against these plans and pledge Sinn Féin’s continuing support.” ENDS

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