Fine Gael turn up heat on Harney over Hospital

Roscommon-South Leitrim TD Frank Feighan has expressed ‘grave concern’ with the numbers of patients that are lying on trolleys in public hospitals in the Roscommon region this week.    Figures released by the Irish Nurses Organisation (INO) indicated that there were nine patients on trolleys at Roscommon County Hospital on Tuesday of this week. Patients at Sligo, Castlebar and UCH Galway are also lying on trolleys presently.     ‘I am gravely concerned by last week’s INO figures which show that patients are lying on trolleys in four of the five hospitals that serve people of this constituency,’ said Deputy Feighan. ‘Roscommon people are being accommodated in this unacceptable fashion at Roscommon County Hospital, at Sligo General Hospital, at Mayo General Hospital, and at the University Hospital in Galway,’ said Deputy Feighan.  ‘As we enter into a period of economic uncertainty and lower public funding this sends out a terrible message to the people of Roscommon and South Leitrim. If Mary Harney refuses to spend money on hospital beds when she has money, how hopeful can we be that the government will spend money on beds in the months ahead?   Meanwhile Deputy Feighan’s Fine Gael colleague, Deputy Denis Naughten, has described as ‘totally unacceptable’ the ‘fact that the Minister for Health seems to know nothing regarding the review of services at Roscommon County Hospital, even though it has been raised directly with her on a monthly basis since last autumn’.    He added: ‘Even though I have raised the issue of the future of the hospital both formally and informally on the floor of Dáil Eireann on numerous occasions the Minister has again responded that the review of services has nothing to do with her.’    In her reply to Denis Naughten’s questions on the plan to publish the report and plans to remove services from the County Hospital the Minister stated that the HSE ‘is the appropriate body to consider the particular matter raised’.    ‘It is about time that the Minister for Health and the Government took a direct role in the plans for Roscommon Hospital,’ concluded Deputy Naughten.