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Hospital network must be defended – Ó Caoláin

12 October, 2009 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

Sinn Féin Dáil leader and Health spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has called for unity across the political spectrum and among healthcare providers to defend the network of public hospitals against centralisation and cutbacks. Deputy Ó Caoláin was today visiting South Tipperary General Hospital in Clonmel.

He said:

“Hospitals across the state continue to be under threat from the centralisation policy of the Fianna Fáil/Green Party Government, including excellent hospitals such as South Tipperary General at Clonmel which I visited today.

“The removal of services from Monaghan general hospital, culminating in the ending of acute services on 22nd July last, has been used as a template for the downgrading of other hospitals such as Nenagh, Ennis and Dundalk. Government and HSE centralisation policy, as well as the tightening regime of cutbacks, inlucding the recruitment embargo, sees hospitals such as Clonmel under threat.

“On my visit to this hospital I met with management and staff and heard their concerns for the future of what is a centre of excellence. I made a firm commitment on behalf of Sinn Féin to the retention of services at local hospitals and opposition to centralisation policy and to current and further proposed cutbacks.

“It is essential that voices across the political spectrum make the same pledge and that local campaigners and healthcare providers continue in a united way in support of their hospital.” ENDS

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