‘In Government, Fine Gael is committed to delivering an additional 2,300 hospital beds, which will address overcrowding in our A&Es and ensure that people receive operations in a timely manner, rather than having appointments cancelled’, claims General Election Candidate, Denis Naughten TD. ‘We in Fine Gael want more beds, not to close beds, and that is clear from the written commitment which I have received from our Party Leader, Enda Kenny, on the future of services at Roscommon County Hospital. ‘Enda has given a written commitment to the Hospital Action Committee, to retain the surgical services at Roscommon County Hospital. He is the only party leader who has given such a firm commitment. ‘Not only do we want to deliver additional hospital beds, we also want to develop the existing facilities in our local Hospitals. Fine Gael wants to see additional services and facilities developed at the County Hospital, which will ensure that people are treated locally, rather than having to travel to Dublin, Galway or Sligo. ‘Fine Gael will prioritise funding for the upgrade of the deplorable A&E and special care baby unit at Portiuncula Hospital, Ballinasloe. These facilities would not be acceptable in the third world, and we will ensure that such facilities are brought up to a proper standard. ‘We also want to provide a new Urgent Care Centre in Athlone to take pressure off A&Es like Portiuncula. This stand-alone clinic will provide a similar level of care and service to an A&E. ‘If we are to have a better health service then we need more beds to treat people. Fine Gael and Labour have agreed as part of our programme for Government to deliver the additional 2,300 beds which are required to ensure that people are treated quickly and in a safe manner’ concluded Denis Naughten.