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HSE cutting a swathe through care for older people – Ó Caoláin

17 November, 2011 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

Sinn Féin Health & Children spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has demanded that Health Minister James Reilly call a halt to the closures across the country by the HSE of care facilities for older people.

Commenting following the announcement that 24 beds are to close at St. Vincent’s Hospital, Athy, Co. Kildare, Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

“The HSE is cutting a swathe through the State’s care facilities for older people.

“The latest victim of the HSE axe is St. Vincent’s Hospital in Athy with the closure of 24 beds. This follows the closure of 26 beds in the hospital in 2009.

“In the past month we have seen the closure of the 32-bed facility at Abbeyleix, 28 respite beds in Thurles/Roscrea, Co. Tipperary, 30 beds in Shaen, Co. Laois, and 89 patients displaced with the closure of St. Brigid’s Home, Crooksling, Co. Dublin.

“In the case of both Abbeyleix and St. Brigid’s the HSE had carried out extensive works on the facilities only to close them now.

“This is undoubtedly the outworking of a policy of retreat from care of older people by the HSE. Older people are being abandoned to the private sector under the flawed so-called ‘Fair Deal’ scheme.

“Health Minister James Reilly should call a halt to these closures. Failure to do so can only mean that he and his Government colleagues are following an unspoken policy of ending direct care of older people by the public health system.” ENDS

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