Show Govt. and HSE ‘boot-boys’ says Naughten

A proposal to downgrade the surgery department at Roscommon County Hospital is still on the table, according to deputy Denis Naughten. The Fine Gael Deputy this week said that he has been informed by the HSE that the proposal made in July 2006 to downgrade the surgery department at Roscommon County Hospital to a Monday to Friday day surgery department is still one of the options it is actively considering. The disclosure was made by Mr. John O’Brien, National Director of the National Hospital Office, at a meeting with Professor Brendan Drumm, Chief Executive of the Health Service Executive (HSE).  Mr. O’Brien also pointed out that the Hanly Report, which outlines the procedure for downgrading hospitals like Roscommon and Portiuncula, forms part of all evaluations of hospital services and remains both HSE and Government policy. ‘These comments are clearly at variance with the comments of the Taoiseach before the general election that the County Hospital will not be downgraded,’ said Denis Naughten. Deputy Naughten continued: ‘There is no doubt in my mind following the meeting that there is a clear agenda at the highest levels in the HSE to both implement the Hanly Report and to transfer vital surgical services from Roscommon County Hospital. I would urge as many members of the public as possible to attend the forthcoming protest march in Roscommon town to show the Government and their boot-boys in the HSE how they feel about these proposals.’