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Senator slams cuts to Cavan General Hospital

12 January, 2012

Cavan Senator Kathryn Reilly has today said that the HSE is gutting services at Cavan General Hospital and that the patient care and safety of people in the North East region is being sacrificed. Senator Reilly was calling for a debate with the Minister for Health following the announcement that there would be a 25% cutback in staffing at the Outpatient Department at Cavan General Hospital.

Senator Reilly said:

“The failure to increase capacity at the hospital following the downgrading of Monaghan General Hospital, together with the recruitment embargo, have already resulted in enormous pressure on staff and patients at Cavan General Hospital. Now a further 25% cut to outpatient services will completely decimate patient care and safety.

“The proposed cuts for Cavan are completely unrealistic given the further curtailments in services in Monaghan hospital last year. The HSE is completely out of touch with the realities of the public health service.

“Rather than decimating public health services in the region, the minister needs to look at restoring services to Monaghan Hospital and maintaining and developing the services in Cavan.

“I have been advised that the Minister is to sign the HSE Service Plan tomorrow which will mean each HSE area will seek to impose further cuts to stay within their reduced annual allocations. This is unacceptable. The minister needs to come to the house and discuss the HSE service plan and how he thinks he can protect frontline services and ensure that patient safety isn’t sacrificed. This needs to happen before the cutbacks take effect in Cavan on 23rd January.

“There was absolutely no consultation or discussion at local level with either nursing staff representatives or elected representatives on the issue. We cannot accept the situation where after the event the HSE involves itself in discussion with some stakeholders, not about the decision or the service, but how its decision is to be implemented. There should be a real process of local consultation with stakeholders, whether staff, members of the public, service users or patients, before decisions are made.

“The HSE is gutting services at Cavan General Hospital and in the wider North East region. They say that reduction in staffing will not mean a reduction in clinics but in practice we will see extended waiting lists and further drains on the services if these cuts are allowed proceed in the coming weeks.” ENDS

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