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HSE Service Plan points to a year of cutbacks for Waterford hospital - Cullinane

14 February, 2012

The HSE South Service Plan points to a year of cutbacks in frontline services at Waterford Regional Hospital, according to Sinn Féin Senator David Cullinane

Speaking during a debate on the plan in the Seanad today, Senator Cullinane stated that he was more convinced than ever that the €13 million cut in funding to Waterford Regional Hospital would deeply affect frontline services.

Senator Cullinane said:

“It is difficult to look at the detail of the cuts that are outlined in the HSE South Service Plan and not be concerned at the effect it will have on frontline services in Waterford Regional Hospital. Clearly the axe will fall, not on the very obvious waste that exists in the system, but on patient care.

“Given that there are several mistakes in the report, it is hard to put much faith in the information they have given us. In one instance it states that one surgical ward is to close, when in fact, we know that two surgical wards are to close and the HSE has accepted as much.

“The report certainly does not give us any reassurance that the services in our hospital are to be maintained, or indeed, that they are even getting the full picture.

“At the moment there are two key areas that require attention to ensure that frontline patient care does not regress even further than anticipated. These key areas are inpatient treatment and surgical treatment, and paediatrics services.

“With regards to the former, we are seeing a reduction from eight to five theatres and a reduction of some 25 inpatient beds. This is going to have a significant impact on the amount of surgeries performed in the hospital.

“Regarding paediatrics services, Waterford Regional will lose two beds this year, after losing six last year. These are cuts that will have a clear and tangible impact on patient care, and the HSE has conceded this will be one of the main challenges for Waterford Regional over the next twelve months.”

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