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Wexford General Hospital Petition to be delivered to Leinster House today

21 April, 2004

The petition to upgrade Wexford General Hospital and to protect the hospital from government intentions to centralise acute hospital services under the Hanly Report will be delivered to Leinster House today, Wednesday at 2:00 p.m, by Wexford Sinn Féin elected representatives and local election candidates.

The final tally of signatures is expected to exceed 10,000 gathered countywide over the past two months, since the launch of the petition in February.

Wexford Sinn Féin Press Officer David Forde said:

"The delivery of this petition to the Minister for Health, following unprecedented bed shortages at Wexford General Hospital in recent times and particularly over the Easter weekend, sends a very timely message to this Government that the people of Wexford are not prepared to tolerate the continuing neglect of our Hospital.

"The reality is that the ongoing failure to invest in Wexford General Hospital, effectively means that our hospital is already being downgraded, as it can no longer keep up with the demands of population growth in Wexford and is now in a severe crisis situation.

"Only last week the Minister gave commitments to maintain A&E services at both Ennis and Nenagh Hospitals. This was clearly as a result of the tremendous local pressure put on the Minister by the people of Nenagh and Ennis. Proper healthcare should not be dependent on local people having to exert pressure on the Minister. However this petition, signed by people from every corner of county Wexford, will let the Minister know, in no uncertain terms, that the people of Wexford will not tolerate any further downgrading of our Hospital and demand that this government invest urgently in our Hospital to deal properly with the growing crisis that presently exists." ENDS

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