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Kenny challenged on hospital bed closures

31 August, 2011 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has challenged Taoiseach Enda Kenny on the proposed closure of 59 hospital beds in Co. Mayo, including six in Swinford District Hospital where the Taoiseach, a Mayo TD, only opened new facilities in July.

The bed closures are signalled in internal HSE documents seen by Sinn Féin. Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

“The HSE is proposing to close 59 in-patient beds in Co. Mayo. The internal HSE documents seen by Sinn Féin confirm that these closures are being brought about because of the ongoing recruitment embargo, with the HSE saying that the current number of beds cannot be sustained with current staffing levels.

“In July Taoiseach Enda Kenny officially opened new facilities at Swinford District Hospital. It is now proposed to close six beds at this hospital, a situation the HSE document describes as embarrassing.

“These closures will hit patient care in Co. Mayo, especially the care of older people. I challenge Enda Kenny to intervene to prevent the bed closures and to lift the recruitment embargo which is crippling the health services throughout the State.” ENDS

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