Jonathan O'Brien TD hits out at planned closure of Mercy Hospital Emergency Department
Sinn Féin's Cork North Central TD Jonathan O’Brien has vented his extreme frustration with the Department of Health amid reports that the Mercy University Hospital (MUH) is to lose its Emergency Department.
The emergency department - one of only two serving the Cork city metropolitan area - is reported as one of nine hospitals across the country expected to be closed by the HSE, after the Trauma Steering Group’s report was leaked in this mornings Sunday Business Post.
Speaking about the proposal, the Sinn Féin Deputy said, “Firstly, Minister Harris must clarify this situation as a matter of urgency. The Mercy and the Cork University Hospital are the only two hospitals in the city that have emergency departments, and both take in patients from surrounding counties depending on their level of injury.
“Both EDs are often running at maximum capacity - I’m quite anxious at the thought of Cork having only one trauma unit if these plans were to go ahead."
The report details that trauma patients would no longer be treated in the earmarked ED departments, and instead the departments would treat minor injuries and illnesses. After the closure of St Mary’s Orthopaedic in late 2011, the Mercy University Hospital opened a Minor Injuries Clinic on the campus.
Deputy O’Brien commented on this, stating “The people of the Northside fought hard against the closure of St Mary’s even though we were given assurances at the time that no such closure would take place. While the Minor Injuries clinic is a great resource to have in the area, we need to have a fully equipped trauma and emergency department to handle the cases that the Minor Injuries clinic cannot”.
He went on to say, “I will be seeking assurances from Minister Harris that Cork will not lose the trauma wing of the Mercy’s Emergency Department and I will ask that he may join me in blocking any attempted closure or downgrading of the Mercy’s facilities. Not only would any downgrading of the hospital be a huge loss to patients in Cork city, it would also be another blow to the depleted facilities for people in Cork North Central who have seen both local hospitals closed by various governments over the last three decades.”