Stanley calls for assurances on Portlaoise A&E
Laois TD Brian Stanley has called on the Government to provide assurances on the future of the A&E Department at Portlaoise hospital prior to a general election. He was speaking during a Sinn Féin private members debate on the overall crisis in A & E provision.
Deputy Stanley said:
“There has been much concern locally over the future of the Portlaoise A&E since a leaked Departmental report in September 2014 recommended that 24 hour cover be reduced and that the number of A&E beds be limited to 20. As I said at the time, that would constitute to a massive blow to a hospital which with 38,000 visits a year is the second busiest Emergency Department in the state.
“Massive opposition in Laois was the main factor in preventing the recommendations being implemented. A further report was to have been issued last September but so far there has been no sign of it. I sincerely hope that it is not being delayed because it might cause political difficulties as we approach the general election.
“When I have previously raised the question of whether it is intended to employ the required number of consultants to continue to provide 24-hour emergency department services at Portlaoise hospital in County Laois, Minister Varadkar was vague in his response.
“Concerns over the future of the Department are shared by doctors in the area. A letter signed by 43 GPs states that they do not believe that the hospital ‘can be run safely in the absence of a 24 hour, properly resourced emergency department’, and that ‘the only viable solution to ensuring safe services is the retention and appropriate resourcing of a 24 hour emergency department.” I think that is sufficient expert advice on the matter.”