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Adams calls for services to be returned to Louth County Hospital

29 March, 2011 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin leader and TD for Louth and East Meath Gerry Adams secured an adjournment debate in the Dáil this evening on the future of Louth County Hospital.

Mr. Adams called for the restoration of A&E services to the Louth County as the first step toward providing acute medical, ICU and emergency surgery services. He also said there is a need for a midwife led unit in Dundalk and for investment in mental health provision and suicide prevention.

The Sinn Féin leader also called on the Minister for Health to meet the Save Our Hospital Services Group.

Text of SO 21 request (check against delivery)

The need for the Minister for Health to reinstate Accident & Emergency Services, Acute Medical beds and the Intensive Care Unit at Louth County Hospital, Dundalk. - Gerry Adams.

Mr. Adams said:

A Aire,
Our public healthcare system in Louth and East Meath is in crisis because Fianna Fáil-led governments have pursued a policy of privatisation and stripped Louth County of its essential key services.
The children’s ward was the first to go, followed by the maternity ward and then the gynaecological unit.

We were told the maternity unit was to be closed temporarily.
It never reopened.
We were to get a midwife-led unit in its place.
It never happened.
In June 2003 we were told that the building identified for future use as a midwifery-led unit would require some modification.
This work was to have been completed in 2004.

The people of Louth and East Meath are still waiting.
This ‘domino’ effect of cuts led last July to the withdrawal of A&E and Acute Medical Services.

Ciallaíonn sé seo nach bhfuil seirbhísí saoil tarrthála ar fáil d’íosportaigh tionóisc bóithre, íosportaigh croí nó stróc nó daoine eile le gá práinneach do chóiriú i dtuaisceart an Lú.

This is a serious and life threatening situation which the Fine Gael and Labour government can reverse if they have the political will.
The stripping away of services in Louth County Hospital also has a knock-on effect on Lourdes in Drogheda which is unable to cope with the demands being made of it.

Two months ago I visited the A&E in Lourdes and was appalled at the numbers of patients waiting on hospital trolleys, chairs and even the floor.

Frontline Staff in Drogheda, like the staff in Louth County Hospital, are doing their very best in the face of insufficient resources and poor planning by the HSE and last government.

Does the Minister support his party's local Councillors in Louth, Meath and Monaghan who have opposed the Transformation agenda?

This is the plan to withdraw much needed services from a good hospital to a Regional Hospital that does not exist?

Is the Minister aware that only days after the former government’s ejection from power, the very same Medical Beds, closed in Dundalk in July, were removed from the hospital with the consent of HSE managers for storage in Dublin to be transported abroad?

Minister the people of Louth and East Meath, and of Counties Meath, Cavan and Monaghan deserve a Regional Hospital that can provide first class health services.

A Aire tá sé tuillte go maith acu agus caithfidh saoránaigh seirbhísí ospidéal eifeachtúla a bheith ar fáil acu ina dúiche.

The Save our Hospital Services campaign group, which has been to the fore in fighting to save the Louth County Hospital have written to the Minister seeking a meeting.

Will the Minister commit this evening to meeting with them to discuss the future of Louth County Hospital?

Tacaíonn Sinn Féin leis an bhfeachtas athchóiriú seirbhísí A&E a bhaint amach i gContae an Lú.

Sinn Fein supports the campaign to restore A&E services to the Louth County as the first step toward providing acute medical, ICU and emergency surgery services.

We also believe there should be a midwife led unit in Dundalk.
The provision of these would have a positive effect on the health services available in both Lourdes and Navan hospitals.
The people of Louth and East Meath and of this island also deserve a health service which treats our elderly with respect and provides for public nursing home beds, and effective community care facilities and home care.

This must include proper funding for mental health provision which is the Cinderella of our Health Service.

This is essential if we are to put in place a joined up Suicide Prevention strategy building on the work done at community level, particularly by families and friends of those who have lost their lives through suicide or those who self harm.

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