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Morgan calls for Harney’s resignation as health crisis deepens in North East

20 February, 2007

Louth Sinn Féin TD Arthur Morgan has called for the resignation of Health Minister Mary Harney and for healthcare facilities to be re-instated at Louth County Hospital and Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda. Deputy Morgan made his comments during an exchange with the Minister in the Dáil today.

He said, "The Government must recognise the chaos in the Health Service. Even the HSE acknowledge that conditions are so bad, it is a testament to staff that no fatalities have resulted to date at A&E in Lourdes Hospital.

"The report from the Department of Medicine at Louth Hospital says patients cannot access routine basic care such as food, water, and washing facilities. It goes on to say that large numbers of patients are managed in a site not fit for the purpose, by persons not trained for the purpose and that it is a testament to staff that no fatalities have resulted to date with medical patients.

"The Minister must be ashamed of hospital conditions and the consequent pressure on staff and patients and her record on making the situation worse.

"Medical services are being transferred from Louth County Hospital Dundalk to Our Lady of Lourdes Drogheda. The A&E and the Intensive Care Unit will follow which can only compound the problems outlined in the report.

"Lourdes is already grossly over-crowded. In fact, out-patients clinics are so over-crowded they spill into the A&E. A&E staff have recently been forced to move patients into maternity."

Addressing the Minister directly Deputy Morgan told the Minister that there should be public enquiry into the health crisis in the north east region. He said, "I called for your resignation in this house last week. Today I raise the issue of resignation again in a calm and measured way. I urge you to consider your position in light of the health crisis in the north east region. There must be a public enquiry into this crisis and if there is you will not be in a position to say you knew nothing at the time because I am putting you on notice now." ENDS

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