Get decision reversed, HAC tell Finneran

Minister of State Michael Finneran must get the decision to end in-patient emergency surgery at Roscommon County Hospital reversed, according to the Hospital Action Committee. ‘This week an agreement to have a joint department of surgery between Roscommon and Portiuncula unfolded. It was agreed in a room where the people of Roscommon were represented by Junior Minister, Michael Finneran TD, one of Roscommon’s representatives in Dáil Éireann. It was agreed five weeks after hundreds of people gathered at a public meeting to protest against the Health Service Executive’s proposals to end inpatient surgery in Roscommon. ‘It seems Michael Finneran is not in agreement with the decision. Disagreeing with the decision is not good enough,’ the Roscommon Hospital Action Committee suggested in their statement.  ‘How does Michael Finneran TD propose to reverse this decision, is the real question? In May 2007 Michael Finneran, as a candidate in the general election, assured the people of Roscommon that there would be no downgrading of services. In fact he stated that he had an agreement with Mary Harney that there would be no downgrading of services. The Hospital Action Committee at the time looked for this agreement in writing but it never materialised. Was there ever an agreement? And if so why can’t he get the government to honour it now? ‘If this amalgamation of surgical departments between Roscommon and Portiuncula goes ahead, it is the beginning of the end of Roscommon Hospital, as we know it. ‘For 30 years now we have fought to retain services. In times when there was no money in the country we fought to retain services and succeeded. Now in the most affluent Ireland of many generations this government thinks taking inpatient surgery out of Roscommon is good enough for the people of this area. It is not. ‘Michael Finneran has to get inpatient surgery retained at Roscommon County Hospital; otherwise his election promises, indeed guarantees, mean nothing.’