Fianna Fáil TD for Cork South West Margaret Murphy O’Mahony says her party will ensure that the current 24/7 services are maintained at Bantry General Hospital.

She made the commitment call following reports that the hospital could be downgraded.

Deputy Murphy O’Mahony said, “There has been much confusion about the future of Bantry General Hospital in recent days, and while the comment from the HSE stating that “there are no plans by the Health Service Executive to downgrade Bantry General Hospital”, concerns about the future of the hospital still remain.

“The HSE statement referenced the hospital being open “7 days a week” rather than a 24/7 service and I have had people contacting me worried that this could still mean a reduction in services.

“Fianna Fáil in government will ensure that the current services, provided on a 24/7 basis will continue.

“West Cork needs a full service acute hospital. Expecting people from West Cork to by-pass Bantry and head to Cork University Hospital is absolute madness. The journey alone could see their conditions deteriorate significantly.

“Patient care has not been a priority for Fine Gael and the uncertainty around this issue has created a real sense of fear within our communities. Fine Gael’s failure to invest in community care has created a situation where people are more dependent on the acute hospital system – for this reason alone we need to ensure that the future of Bantry General Hospital is protected. Fianna Fáil in government will do that”, concluded Deputy Murphy O’Mahony.