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"TB threat shows folly of Peamount closure" - Ó Caoláin

2 March, 2006

"TB threat shows folly of Peamount closure" - Ó Caoláin

Sinn Féin Health and Children spokesperson Caoimhghin Ó Caoláin TD has called for an action plan on TB from the Minister for Health and Children in the wake of a study showing significant and alarming levels of the disease in parts of Dublin city. He said the new threat exposed the folly of "the Government's totally irresponsible decision to allow the closure of the TB unit at Peamount Hospital".

He stated: "The new report on significant levels of TB in Dublin requires a concerted response from the Minister and the Health Service Executive. The study by a TB specialist has found a very worrying trend and has said the problem is made worse by the closure of Peamount Hospital's TB unit.

"Staff, patients and former patients at Peamount strongly opposed the closure of the TB unit when it was announced in 2004. They warned that the closure of this national centre of excellence for the treatment of TB would reduce our ability to deal with this threat to public health. I supported the staff and patients in their call for the unit to remain open but the government refused to listen and allowed the unit to close. This was a totally irresponsible decision.

"Before the TB unit at Peamount closed we were promised that specialized TB treatment, including dedicated beds, would be provided at St. James's Hospital. This has not happened and we now face a renewed TB threat without proper provision to deal with it.

"The Minister and the HSE must respond immediately to this threat to public health." ENDS

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