Threats to A&E at Navan Hospital
Cathaoirleach of the Save Navan Hospital Campaign Peadar Tóibín TD said today that under no circumstances can the Hospital Campaign accept a reduction of A&E services in Navan.
He called on the Minister James Reilly to meet with him to guarantee the continued existence of the service. His comments came on the back of rumours that the A&E was in imminent danger of being closed.
Deputy Tóibín said;
“The context of this is that the Government and the HSE have the ultimate goal of closing the A&E in Navan. This has been stated time and time again in our meetings with both organisations. The only thing preventing the closure of the A&E is the overcrowding at Drogheda and the people of Meath through the Save Navan Hospital Campaign standing up for the hospital.
“Overall health spending in the HSE was reduced by €750 million in budget last year. The HSE chief executive Cathal Magee acknowledged himself that frontline services for patients would go. I also understand that the HSE is struggling to deliver proper services under such severe health funds cuts. As a result there has been budget over runs which Minister Reilly stated recently he will not tolerate.
“A number of senior medical professionals in Meath contacted me on Friday to let me know that they had heard that the A&E in Navan hospital was to close imminently. They told me that it was to be done under the pretence that there was insufficient governance overnight in the A&E. However some problems have existed for over 10 years and during this time it was never deemed necessary to reduce service at the A&E. They stated that not only would the closure of A&E be damaging to emergency services but it would also have a negative effect on other aspects of the hospital such as medical services, ambulance service and GP services amongst others.
“On Saturday night I contacted a senior member of the HSE who along with others has acted as a channel of communication between the HSE and the Save Navan Hospital Campaign. I was told that the HSE has no plan to close down A&E but that they could not allow problems to continue. They told me that existing resources would be used to try and prevent any part closure but that no new resources would be considered. They also told me that any change would be planned and timed in order to allow for safety. Today I have seen a HSE press statement that states that all options are being discussed. This last press statement does not create confidence.
“There is no way in my view, given the lack of capacity at Drogheda where between 30 and 40 people regularly wait on trollies, that closure or part closure of the A&E at Our Lady’s Hospital Navan can be considered. I am calling on Minister James Reilly to meet with myself and the Save Navan Hospital Campaign and guarantee the people of Meath that our A&E is safe.”