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Monaghan and Cavan Hospitals to close for 4 weeks due to cuts

26 September, 2008

Cavan/Monaghan TD and Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has obtained an internal memo from the management of the Cavan and Monaghan Hospital Group revealing plans to effectively close the two hospitals over two two-week periods at the end of October and start of November and at the end of December and start of January.

The memo entitled 'Cost Containment' orders the closure of the Out-Patient Departments in both hospitals as well as theatre and day services, including endoscopy and minor operations.

The closures are due to take place from Monday 27 October to Friday 7 November inclusive and from Monday 22 December to Friday 2 January inclusive.

Commenting on the impending closures, Deputy Ó Caoláin said: "What we are looking at here is effectively the closure of Monaghan General Hospital and Cavan General Hospital as far as most services are concerned for a four week period, all in the name of 'cost containment'.

"This is an outrage. It is condemning sick people to further delays and distress and storing up further ill-health for patients and greater costs for the health service in the future. This cut will affect diagnostic services such as endoscopy, increasing the chances that patients will have delayed diagnoses for serious illnesses with very serious consequences.

"The message from the HSE and the Government is 'Don't get ill -- we can't afford to treat you'. "Even before Budget '09 the knives are being wielded and it is the most vulnerable people who depend on our public health services who will feel the pain. "This scandalous decision must not be carried out and the Minister for Health & Children Mary Harney must intervene to prevent the closures." ENDS

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