Fianna Fáil TD for Kerry John Brassil says services at University Hospital Kerry are being effectively downgraded after a memo was sent to GPs in the county informing them of upcoming “changes”. He’s now calling on the HSE to come clean and explain why proper resources are not being allocated to the hospital.

Deputy Brassil explained, “I have read the memo sent to GPs across Kerry which details the fact that the “walk-in chest x-ray service” is being phased out and will be replaced by a “Prioritised Scheduled Service”. It also proposed that ultrasounds will no longer be carried out after 5pm.

“Let’s be clear about what this means – services at UHK are being downgraded. This latest memo follows on from a series of warnings about the future of certain services at the hospital because of staffing issues, including a number of important consultant vacancies which have still not been filled.

“What is most disappointing about this is that we had positive news only last week with the new cardiologist beginning work. It seems that when it comes to services at UHK it’s one step forward and two steps back.

“The HSE is not filling these vacant posts and it needs to explain why. Resources within the Cork-Kerry Hospital Group do not seem to be making their way to UHK and people in Kerry are suffering. The hospital is effectively being downgraded without any discussion. Instead of allocating the necessary resources, the HSE is chipping away at services and is risking the viability of the hospital.

“Minister Harris needs to be open and honest about what is going on at UHK. GPs, consultants and other staff at the hospital are extremely frustrated by the lack of communication and action. I am calling on the Health Minister to explain why so many services at Kerry have been and are being reduced and to be truthful about his and the HSE’s plan for the hospital”, concluded Deputy Brassil.