Rally in support of Portlaoise Hospital this Saturday 30.07.11
There will be a rally in support of Portlaoise Hospital this Sunday at 3pm at the County Hall in Portlaoise. Those in attendance will then march to the hospital.
Speaking in advance of the rally which is organised by the Local Hospital Action Group, Sinn Féin TD for Laois-Offaly Brian Stanley said:
“People are angry at the potential downgrading of services. There are on-going discussions within the HSE regarding acute surgery and A&E provision at Portlaoise Hospital which deals with 41,000 emergency cases a year. These discussions have reached a critical stage. The people of Laois and surrounding areas cannot afford to have these services downgraded.
“During the general election campaign, Fine Gael and Labour told us they would protect public health services. Far from protecting services they have simply picked up where Fianna Fáil left off.
“Last year when he was in opposition, local Fine Gael TD Charlie Flanagan called upon the then Minister Mary Harney to accept that she was “accountable” to the Dáil, and went on to ask her to call a public meeting to clarify to the people of Laois and the neighbouring counties what her Department’s intentions were regarding Portlaoise Hospital. Deputy Flanagan also went on to say that he was “not prepared to stand by while hospital services in Portlaoise are removed by stealth”. I would ask Deputy Flanagan now that Fine Gael are in Government to demand that his party colleague Minister James O’Reilly clarify his intentions at a similar meeting in Portlaoise and not allow the hospital services in Portlaoise to be “removed by stealth”.
“A downgrading of services is completely against the wishes of the people of Laois and there is massive support for the continuation of services in the hospital. We are calling on people from all parts of Laois to take a stand and support the hospital by attending the rally.”