Hospital more secure now than ever – Murphy

Roscommon County Hospital is more secure now than it was in the past, according to Fianna Fáil councillor Eugene Murphy. Cllr. Murphy feels the future of the County Hospital is now far more secure than it has been for some time, but admitted it was important that the fight continue to bring even more facilities to the Hospital in the years ahead.  He was speaking in light of a meeting between the three HSE members for Roscommon, Cllr. Tony Ward, Cllr. Charlie Hopkins and Cllr. Murphy last Friday morning, and a decision of the eight Fianna Fáil councillors not to sign a letter supporting a march on the future of the County Hospital and its status. Cllr. Murphy, who is chairperson of the Fianna Fáil councillors’ group, stated the councillors’ group were entitled to make their own decision and were not going to sign the letter which is due to go out to many people in the county shortly. ‘If the march goes ahead, I would say some of the Fianna Fáil councillors would support the march and others would not get involved.’    Cllr. Murphy said the Fianna Fáil is happy with the recent strong statement by Deputy Michael Finneran on the protection and expansion of services at the County Hospital. ‘A similar statement was made by Deputy Finneran prior to the General Election and he got a strong mandate from the electorate in that election.’ Cllr. Murphy said that while he did not agree fully with all proposals of HSE, he felt that much of what is at the hospital would be secure into the future.  ‘I was also delighted that Mr. Alan Moran informed us that two new medical services had commenced in Roscommon, ENT and Urology clinics. This means people from the county no longer have to go to Galway for those services. University College Hospital is now extremely difficult to access because of lack of parking and heavy traffic. I do acknowledge that Mr. Moran stated that there would be more co-operation between Roscommon and Portiuncula in Ballinasloe. I feel all politicians must accept there are going to be some changes, but I would not call them drastic. I would like to see some type of consensus across the political system on health issues, if we don’t, well then we could end up with poor services. ‘The hospital is an important issue to us irrespective of us marching or signing letters. We have seen major progress at our County Hospital in recent years. We have received commitments from the Taoiseach and the Minister for Finance on the future of the hospitals. We, as the Fianna Fáil group of councillors, want to assure the people of the county, patients at the hospital and staff at the hospital that we will not let you down. ‘With a new A&E and a large number of extra staff, the addition of extra services, how can anybody say that our health service in the county is going backwards? The designation of Athlone as a city which will mean further major expansion in South and Mid Roscommon, therefore Roscommon County Hospital could become even more important in the future years.’