Wexford Fianna Fáil TD John Browne has accused the Minister for Health James Reilly and Government Chief Whip Paul Kehoe of “fairyland politics” if they think that the loss of over 40 staff between Wexford General Hospital and St John’s Community Hospital in Enniscorthy will not have a serious effect on patient services.
Deputy Browne said; “Both Wexford Hospital and St John’s were already working under severe pressure. Now the loss of dozens more staff due to retirements will lead to the downgrading of both of these hospitals. This cannot happen.
“These two facilities are both highly regarded and are crucial components of healthcare provision in the South East. St John’s has provided excellent care to older people in Wexford throughout the years. Closing down beds at this unit will push elderly patients onto Wexford General. Meanwhile, the Health Minister and the HSE is also closing beds at Wexford General. All of this will create a hopeless situation for many patients, leading to longer waiting list and more overcrowding.
“How can the Health Minister claim that patients won’t be affected by these cuts, when it is quite clear that Wexford patients are now facing the downgrade of our local health services? Minister Reilly is pursuing an agenda this year to close up to 898 community hospital beds around the country this year, and St John’s is among those in the firing line. Many people are worried that this is just the thin end of the wedge and will eventually result in the closure of the hospital.
“Ministers James Reilly and Paul Kehoe must stop their bluffing and end this attempt to fool the Wexford public. It’s time for them to come clean about the future of our local health services instead of spreading this myth that patients won’t see any difference as a result of the bed closures this year,” said Deputy Browne.