"Take heed of massive public protest -- restore services to Monaghan General Hospital" -- Ó Caoláin
Sinn Féin Dáil leader and spokesperson on Health and Children Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has called on the Minister for Health and Children Mary Harney and the Health Service Executive to recognise the depth of public anger displayed at today's protest in support of Monaghan General Hospital. He demanded that they restore the services that have been removed from the Hospital.
Speaking after participating in the protest in Monaghan this morning, Deputy Ó Caoláin said:
"Some 10,000 people today voiced their unequivocal opposition to this Government's ongoing destruction of Monaghan General Hospital. The numbers of people who mobilised from early in the morning and from every part of County Monaghan and beyond have sent a powerful message to the Government and the Health Service Executive. We want the restoration of the services which have been axed from Monaghan General Hospital and we want our hospital developed as a key part of the healthcare infrastructure in this region.
"Minister for Health and Children Mary Harney and the HSE must recognise the depth of public anger. They must also recognise the weight of opinion from patients, relatives of those who have died as a result of the downgrading of Monaghan General Hospital, and the expert testimony of frontline healthcare workers in this region. To date the Minister and the HSE have placed more value on the reports of faceless consultants such as those who authored the totally unacceptable Teamwork Report.
"Minister Pat 'the Cope' Gallagher eventually performed his road-opening ceremony in the company of his Fianna Fáil colleagues Dr. Rory O'Hanlon TD and Senator Francis O'Brien. Their furtive photo-opportunity, after they had to avoid the protest of thousands of local people, can only be described as pathetic.
"Sinn Féin invites all those concerned with the state of our health services, including the downgrading of local hospitals, to attend our major rally in Dublin on Saturday 21 October which will be demanding Healthcare Rights for All."