Naughten: HSE must tell public of hospital plans

Fine Gael Deputy Denis Naughten has called on the HSE to explain to the people of Roscommon what their plans are for the future of surgical services at Roscommon County Hospital. Deputy Naughten’s call comes in the wake of last week’s meeting between representatives of the HSE and consultants and management at Roscommon and Portiuncula hospitals to discuss surgical services at both facilities.   In the wake of that meeting Deputy Naughten sought clarification from the HSE as to what was discussed at the meeting amid fears that surgical services at Roscommon County Hospital would be scaled down as a result of the review.   Deputy Naughten has received the following statement from Alan Moran, Programme manager, HSE West: ‘A meeting between management, consultants of Roscommon County Hospital, Portiuncula Hospital, and the Hospital Network Manager HSE West was held to discuss the options around the creation of joint departments of surgery and anaesthesia between the two Hospitals. The meeting will form the basis for more detailed discussions in the near future.’    Deputy Naughten says that the statement is vague and worrying – in equal measure. ‘I am concerned by the language in the statement. If there is to be a merger of surgery at both hospitals then what I would like to know is where will the consultants be based? If they are based in Portiuncula then that’s where the surgery will take place. This arrangement will not suit either Roscommon or Portiuncula in the long run. It’s just a cost-cutting exercise’ he told The People on Wednesday.    Deputy Naughten wants the HSE to be more forthcoming with information and to let the people know what they are planning. ‘I am calling on the HSE to hold a public meeting in the local area to inform people of what they are planning. What’s going on at the moment is all behind closed doors and the people deserve to know what’s going on’ he said.  ‘ We (Fine Gael) warned about this during the election campaign and we need to make sure we know what the HSE are planning to do, especially with regard to Roscommon County Hospital. I asked Mary Harney about this in the Dail last February and I didn’t get a straight answer – and there is still uncertainty’ he concluded.