HOSPITAL D-DAY

Paul Healy  It’s D-Day for Roscommon County Hospital – with its future in the gravest danger.    At Merlin Park Hospital in Galway today (Thursday), HSE chief Professor Brendan Drumm meets leading consultants from the West, including Roscommon Hospital’s Mr. Liam McMullen. In a worrying development Mr. McMullen said in recent days that the meeting is ‘pointless’ as the decision to transfer in-patient surgery is already made.    Once again this week there has been a flurry of public comments on the future of the hospital. Fine Gael Health spokesperson Dr. James Reilly told a public meeting in Roscommon that ‘the die is cast’ and Professor Drumm is merely coming to the west to ‘organise the implementation of the beginning of the end’ (of in-patient surgery in Roscommon).    His colleague Deputy Denis Naughten said that he has called for an urgent meeting with Professor Drumm. Meanwhile the HAC were organising a protest in Galway this morning and planning to hand over a letter to Professor Drumm seeking retention of services at Roscommon.    As Dr. O’Reilly commented that Taoiseach Brian Cowen is the only person who can now stop the downgrading, local Fianna Fail Minister of State Michael Finneran’s position remains that Professor Drumm will still have to come back to the government after his meeting with the consultants.  Minister Finneran has indicated that he will meet with Health Minister Mary Harney again at that stage.