New plan will close A&E – Naughten

The accident department at Roscommon County Hospital will be transferred along with the present surgeons to Portiuncula Hospital, Ballinasloe, under the HSE plans circulated to members of Roscommon County Council last week, local TD Denis Naughten has warned.  ‘The HSE claims that this is not a cost-cutting exercise, but is in the interest of ‘safety’ and that the emergency department will remain at the County Hospital. The fact, however, remains that the people of Monaghan were told the same thing as their services were slowly withdrawn to Cavan and these are now to be transferred to Navan,’ stated Deputy Naughten. ‘If the HSE was serious about putting in the supports to implement the plan as they claim why then, after two years considering their proposals, have they not provided specific details on the investment needed? ‘The report states ‘the resource implications for the ambulance service are to be determined’ while on the subject of the building work required at Portiuncula there are no details available in the report, leaving such work subject to funds being available. In addition the HSE ‘estimate two years to complete’ the construction work needed at Portiuncula Hospital. Let us not forget that the Minister for Foreign Affairs said recently on the funding for hospital beds that there is ‘not a red cent’ available. ‘This report is nothing more than HSE spin for the fact that they have no plans to provide additional highly skilled ambulance crews for the County Roscommon area and the Portiuncula Hospital will have to cope with twice as many surgeries and accidents without one additional hospital bed. ‘If the HSE gets away with the removal of in-patient surgery and the accident department then they will carry out a further ‘review’ in the not too distant future and remove more services from Roscommon Hospital.  ‘Sadly, this Government will just sit idly by as it is clear from the comments of the incoming Taoiseach Brian Cowen last week that the Government supports HSE policy and with it, as a result, the downgrading of our hospital,’ concluded Deputy Naughten.