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HSE blindly following a failed agenda in North East

19 March, 2007

Sinn Fein Cllr and General Election Candidate Joe Reilly responding to an article in the Sunday Business Post said:

“The report in The Sunday Business Post (March18th, 2007) on Our Lady’s of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda and the health services in the North East again high-lights what many of us have been saying for a long time, that the HSE is blindly following a failed agenda that is under-minding patient care and confidence in the health service in the North East”.

“Mr Chris Lyons, Hospital manager for the North East acknowledged in the article that there was a serious situation in Drogheda and that the population explosion was a major contributory factor to the crisis. This is the very point some us have been making for a long time and but what have the HSE done about it”?

There response is to remove services from Navan, Monaghan and Dundalk hospitals and transfer them to an under resourced and over crowded Drogheda. The decision owes more to some manager’s grandiose view of what the health structures should be rather than the immediate needs of patient and the wider community.

The HSE strategy is based on the construction of a new regional hospital in the North East. I would welcome a new hospital in the morning but with the best will in the world and in the view of The Sunday Business Post it will take at least ten years for such a unit to be constructed.

In the meantime people in Meath and elsewhere will be expected to suffer a substandard health service for years to come due to decisions being taken by the HSE and the Minister for Health. An example of this is the decision is to cancel all operations in Navan until further notice. A&E patients in Navan must go to a trolly packed A&E in Drogheda. The laboratory services are understaffed and testing sent to outside companies at a cost of over €1 per year. It appears that the bureaucratic system must be given priority over patient care. This can not be acceptable.

Until the new hospital is built then local hospitals like Navan, Monaghan and Dundalk must be resurced to treat in the words of the area hospital manager “the population explosion” in areas like Meath and Navan. To continue to drive all services towards the Lourdes is dangerous to patients and staff and could result in further tragic events

The issues and concerns in the article challenge the local medical and other health professionals and demand a wider public debate. I would urge them to publicly articulate their ideas on how a proper, safe and timely health service can be provided to people in the area over the coming decade. Now is not the time for continuing silence”.


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