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Ó Caoláin - Health Minister must act on A and E closures threat

7 January, 2003

The Minister for Health and Children Micheal Martin has been urged to act to avert the closure of Accident and Emergency units throughout the State following the coming into effect of new training rules imposed by the College of Surgeons. Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Caoimhghin Ó Caoláin TD said this latest development "could see more hospitals in the same predicament as Monaghan".

Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

"Changes in training rules now being implemented by the College of Surgeons, as signalled by the Irish Medical Organisation, have been in the offing for a long time. Yet the Minister for Health and Children Micheál Martin has not acted to ensure that all existing Accident and Emergency services are maintained. On the contrary he has presided over a situation where in Monaghan the hospital has been off call for the past six months with accident and emergency cases being diverted to Cavan and Drogheda.

that existing A and E units are not closed or curtailed?

"Minister Martin must act to avert what could be a devastating blow to A and E services throughout the State. He is the responsible Minister and he cannot continue to hide behind the professional bodies or the health boards." ENDS

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