Michael Finneran on Roscommon County Hospital and the HAC meeting

Paul Healy: As you know the HAC held a major meeting on Monday night. You were heavily criticised, including for your absence. What is your position on that and can you reiterate your position on the hospital?  Michael Finneran: In recent years Fianna Fail started the development programme for Roscommon Hospital and there was major capital investment of €17m, including on a new A&E, 98 extra staff and so on. Then in August of 2006 when proposals were made that I was opposed to I met the situation head-on and in fact put my political life on the line. What’s under discussion now is the ‘preferred option’ put forward by the HSE. That document was never given to me. I agree with most of it but not with one key area.  The position I agreed to (previously) is an agreement which involved a joint Department of Surgery and Anaesthetics between Roscommon and Portiuncula Hospitals with the locating of two general surgeons at each hospital and the appointment of a fifth surgeon specialising in gastro/intestine surgery with the hours to be agreed with both hospitals.   What is proposed in the HSE ‘preferred option’ is not consistent with that and I do not support it (that part). I did not see the point in going to the HAC meeting