Tallaght bed closures the first of many for 2012 – Ó Caoláin
Sinn Féin health spokesperson, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD, said the closure of 62 beds in one of the country’s major hospital would be the first of many in 2012 thanks to the “devastating health cuts imposed in the Fine Gael/Labour budget”.
“The revelation by the Irish Nurses’ and Midwives’ Organisation that Tallaght Hospital is to close 62 beds before the end of January, including a 31-bed ward, is a body blow to hospital care in the extensive region served by one of the country’s major hospitals.
“Once again this closure of beds is taking place without any consultation with staff and in an unplanned and arbitrary way. These bed closures should not be happening. Thanks to the devastating health cuts imposed by the Fine Gael/Labour Government in Budget 2012 these closures will be the first of many more in 2012.
“There are over 2,000 public hospital beds currently closed due to cutbacks and 3,100 nursing and midwifery posts have already been lost due to the recruitment embargo.
“On 3 October last in the Dáil I asked health minister James Reilly if he would commence a programme of reopening public hospital beds. I asked the minister if he agreed that more beds closed means more patients suffering needlessly on trolleys and more patients waiting at home in pain due to cancelled operations.
Minister Reilly replied to me: ‘I do not agree that more beds closed means more patients on trolleys and more people waiting.’
“This was a direct contradiction of what James Reilly said in May 2010, after 33 beds were closed in Beaumont Hospital: ‘More beds closed means more patients suffering needlessly on trolleys and more patients waiting at home in pain due to cancelled operations.’
“Minister Reilly was correct in May 2010 but now he parrots the words of his predecessor Mary Harney.”