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Hospital Staff angered after meeting with HSE official - Monaghan General to lose more services - Ó Caoláin

11 October, 2006

A senior Health Service Executive official has confirmed that further key services at Monaghan General Hospital are to be cut. At a meeting with staff at the Hospital on Tuesday evening, Chris Lyons, Acute Hospital Network Manager, is reported to have stated that the Intensive Care Unit at Monaghan would be closed in the New Year. "Deeply angry" was how Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin described hospital staff who contacted him after the meeting where they heard of the latest blow to Monaghan General.

Speaking by phone on Wednesday morning from Scotland, where he is attending the talks in the peace process, the Sinn Féin Dáil leader and spokesperson on Health and Children said that several members of hospital staff had contacted him after the meeting with Mr. Lyons.

Deputy Ó Caoláin stated, "There is deep anger among staff at the Hospital at the latest threatened slashing of key services. I understand that Mr. Lyons informed staff that the Intensive Care Unit at the Hospital will be closed in the New Year. If that cut goes ahead then the Coronary Care Unit will likely follow shortly after, as will other surgical and medical services at the Monaghan Hospital site.

"There is also anger at the manner in which this announcement was made. Once again the issue of patient safety was raised as a justification for removing services. Of course it is the very removal of services which threatens the health and safety of the community served by the hospital. Staff and patients are by now well used to this duplicitous approach by the HSE and by successive Health Ministers.

"This news comes after last week's insult to the people of County Monaghan from HSE Chief Executive Brendan Drumm who accused them of scare-mongering for self-interest. I call on the HSE to state very clearly and in detail what exactly are their plans for Monaghan General Hospital now." ENDS

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