Hospital ‘to lose in-patient beds’

Lobby groups have accused the Health Service Executive (HSE) of targeting certain hospitals and their communities for cost-cutting. The Health Services Action Group (HSAG) which includes the Hospital Action Committee in Roscommon, has accused the HSE of using the current budgetary deficit to implement a programme of selective closures in certain public hospitals.   ‘The HSE is using the current financial deficit to discriminate against certain hospitals and their communities, implementing the Government’s bed-cutting programme by stealth in the guise of cost containment’, said Peadar McMahon, Chairman of the Health Services Action Group.   ‘Public hospitals likely to be stripped of all their inpatient beds include Ballinasloe, Bantry, Cashel, Clonmel, Dundalk, Ennis,Kilkenny, Loughlinstown, Mallow, Manorhamilton, Monaghan, Mullingar,Naas, Navan, Nenagh, Port Laoise, Roscommon, St Finbarr’s (Cork), St. John’s (Limerick), St Michael’s (Dun Laoghaire) and Wexford. Hospitals in Tralee, Castlebar, Sligo, and Tallaght are also being targeted for significant cuts. Denial of human rights   ‘These HSE measures constitute a denial of human rights’ Peadar McMahon adds. ‘They discriminate against the most vulnerable people in our society, the less well off, the elderly, and the non-urban’ he says.