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On-call status must be returned to Monaghan General Hospital as a matter of urgency

28 October, 2004

Sinn Féin Councillor Brian McKenna, a former member of the North Eastern Health Board, has expressed sympathy to the family of Benny McCullagh of Monaghan town who died of a heart attack en route to Cavan General Hospital. He could not be admitted to Monaghan because of its off-call status. Cllr. McKenna said the tragedy highlighted the need to return Monaghan General Hospital to on-call status. He stated:

"This tragedy highlights yet again the impact on this community of the downgrading of Monaghan General Hospital. Because of its off-call status this patient could not be admitted and treated in this facility, which is virtually on his doorstep, and he had to be brought to Cavan General Hospital. Yet a statement by former Minister for Health & Children Mícheál Martin on the 27th May to the Fianna Fáil organisation in North Monaghan stated and I quote "I want to assure the members of the Fianna Fáil organisation that 24-hour medical cover will be provided in Monaghan General Hospital. This means that medical emergencies that are referred from G.P.s and/or by ambulance will be seen by doctors in Monaghan General on a 24 hour, 7-day a week basis".

"The McCullagh family unfortunately have to live with the consequences of the failure of the former Minister to deliver once again on his promises to the people of County Monaghan. It is now incumbent on the new Minister for Health Mary Harney to deliver on all the recommendations of the Steering Committee, particularly the immediate restoration of on-call status to Monaghan General Hospital.

"I extend my deepest sympathy to the McCullagh family on the death of Benny", concluded Cllr. McKenna.

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