Challenge to Taoiseach to come to Monaghan General Hospital during Cavan/Monaghan constituency visit
Sinn Féin Dáil leader and Health & Children spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has learned from sources within the HSE that the Taoiseach Brian Cowen has sought a briefing from the HSE North East about key health issues in Cavan/Monaghan, including Monaghan General Hospital, in advance of an electoral visit to the constituency that he plans to make on 1 June.
Deputy Ó Caoláin has challenged the Taoiseach to visit Monaghan General Hospital and to meet consultants and nurses, the Oireachtas members from Co. Monaghan and community campaigners. In reply to a Dáil Question from Deputy Ó Caoláin, Health Minister Mary Harney this week said that the planned date of 31 May for the removal of all acute in-patient services from Monaghan General Hospital was “under review” by the HSE. The HSE has told Deputy Ó Caoláin that the postponement will be of short duration, prompting the Cavan-Monaghan TD to describe the delay as “most convenient for Fianna Fáil, the Green Party and the Taoiseach as the axe will fall on our hospital after polling day on 5 June”.
Deputy Ó Caoláin said:
“I have learned from sources within the HSE that the Taoiseach Brian Cowen has sought from the HSE North East a briefing about key health issues in Counties Cavan and Monaghan prior to his planned visit to this constituency on Monday 1 June.
“The most urgent health issue for these Counties is the disastrous Government and HSE plan to remove all acute in-patient services from Monaghan General Hospital to Cavan General Hospital. This is a sentence of death for Monaghan General Hospital and a sentence of hard labour for Cavan General Hospital. Already over-burdened, Cavan will be expected to cope with thousands of additional in-patients per year but without a single additional in-patient bed and without additional staff. The people of Monaghan will be robbed of a hospital that has served them for generations.
“I challenge the Taoiseach to visit Monaghan General Hospital and to meet there with consultants, nurses, the Oireachtas members from County Monaghan and with representatives of the Co. Monaghan Community Alliance which has overwhelming support in this County and which has staunchly defended our hospital.
“It is most convenient for Fianna Fáil, the Green Party and especially for the Taoiseach on his visit to this constituency, that the planned date for removal of in-patient services from Monaghan has been put back from 31 May. The Government and HSE still plan to wield the axe on our hospital but it is now timed to happen in the wake of 5 June polling day.
“Whatever part of this constituency the Taoiseach chooses to visit he should hear loud and clear the total opposition of the people to the imminent fatal attack on our hospital services.” ENDS