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Cavan Hospital report highlights need for Monaghan Hospital to be brought back on call

9 March, 2004

A report published by the Medical Advisor to the North Eastern Health Board into Cavan General Hospital shows that full on-call services should be returned to Monaghan without delay according to the Sinn Féin member on the Health Board Cllr. Brian McKenna.

Mr. Finbar Lennon was asked by the Health Board executive to compile the report following recent high profile controversies in Cavan Hospital. The report lists seven recommendations. Cllr. McKenna believes that they point to the solution that full on-call and A & E services need to be re-instated to Monaghan General Hospital as well as maintained and enhanced in Cavan.

Cllr. Brian McKenna said: "First of all I welcome the fact that this report was produced in such a quick time-frame and that the report itself is very understandable. It is clear that the staff in Cavan hospital have been under severe pressure since Monaghan was taking off-call over 15 months ago.

"I am particularly worried that Mr. Lennon's final point reads: 'If the above recommendations are accepted and implemented I believe the hospital [Cavan] may continue to provide an emergency on-call surgical service.' The wording of this recommendation is incredibly vague and would remind me of the type of phrases used in advance of the removal of maternity services and on-call status from Monaghan."

Cllr. McKenna also stated that at the Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis held last weekend Ministers were sending out mixed messages. "While the government have adopted the Hanly report which recommended the downgrading of a number of local hospitals, the Taoiseach and Mícheál Martin are now rowing back, at least publicly, in relation to the provision of 24 hour A & E services. The people will not be fooloed by this ploy which is an attempt to once again 'con' the electorate in advance of the local and European elections in June. We must remember the pre-General Election promise to provide an additional 200,000 medical cards which never materialised. The old adage 'once bitten, twice shy' will ensure that the electorate make the FF/ PD partnership pay the price for false promises.

"The failure of Minister Martin and Fianna Fáil to provide the necessary resources for Monaghan General Hospital over the years and their failure to following through with financial backing in relation to the Bonner report is nothing short of a disgrace.

"Monaghan General Hospital needs to be brought back on call and Cavan needs the maintenance and development of its services. It is the responsibility of the North Eastern Health Board executive and the Fianna Fáil government to make that happen. Sinn Féin councillors and our TD will continue to fight to ensure that they do. We want no more excuses."ENDS

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