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Report falls far short of Monaghan's needs - Ó Caoláin

26 July, 2003


Publication of Bonner Report on Monaghan General Hospital

Commenting on the publication of the Bonner Report on Further and Future Development of Monaghan General Hospital, Sinn Féin Health spokesperson and Cavan/Monaghan TD Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin said it fell far short of what was required but contained recommendations for improvement of the Hospital which should be funded and implemented without delay by the Minister for Health and Children and the North Eastern Health Board.

In his initial comment on the Report, the Monaghan-town based TD said:

"The Bonner recommendations for services to be provided at Monaghan Hospital are essentially the same as those presented by the CEO of the North Eastern Health Board in September 2002. There is no recommendation for the full restoration of the Maternity Unit and no recommendation for the restoration of A&E.

"In the past week one woman has given birth in Monaghan Hospital, even though there is no Maternity Unit, and another has given birth in an ambulance by the roadside en route to Cavan. A doctor and midwife despatched from Cavan did not reach her in time.

"This Report explicitly recognises the sense of community in Monaghan and what it calls the 'huge chasm of mistrust between the community and North Eastern Health Board'. That mistrust is rooted firmly in the failure to restore our Maternity Unit. The Bonner Report itself arose out of the tragic death of baby Bronagh Livingstone.

"Recommendations for management changes and some service improvements are welcome, but of themselves do not meet what I and colleagues have argued is necessary. Welcome also is the call for capital investment and the implementation of the recommendations by the Government and the NEHB without delay. However, this report falls far short of the needs of the people and much more is required."

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