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Hospital reports provide more questions than answers while cuts continue

14 May, 2013 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

Giving his initial reaction to the Framework for Smaller Hospitals and the report on the establishment of Hospital Groups, Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD: “These reports provide more questions than answers. Communities will look to them in vain for any definite information about the fate of their hospitals. Meanwhile this Government continues to impose cuts which hit services to patients in every hospital.

“The Framework for Smaller Hospitals claims that there has been a consultation process regarding the services to be provided in smaller hospitals. The experience of communities across this State is that there has been little or no consultation and this Government, like its predecessor, has paid little heed to the needs and wishes of the users of our hospital services.

“Health Minister James Reilly himself entered office with the promise to restore emergency service to Roscommon General Hospital still on his lips and immediately reneged on it, leading to the first ‘man overboard’ for this Government.

“Communities in Monaghan, Navan, Dundalk, Ennis, Nenagh and elsewhere have heard glowing promises about the services that will be provided in place of services taken from those hospitals. In most cases these were not fulfilled. We now have more such promises. While the framework for the services in the different levels of hospitals offers some scope for development, the question is – at what hospital sites and what will be delivered? This Government is cutting funding for health and cutting services, not enhancing them.

“The grouping of hospitals is stated to be in preparation for the establishment of Hospital Trusts. This is based on the fundamentally flawed Fine Gael model of healthcare through competing private insurers. There will be real concerns at a number of hospital sites and within whole communities on this new configuration.” ENDS

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