Laois-Offaly TD Seán Fleming has condemned the closure of St. Bridget’s Hospital, Shane, Portlaoise following the decision to close Abbeyleix Community Hospital in Laois just two weeks ago.
Deputy Fleming said: “It is an absolute disgrace that I was prevented from raising this issue in the Dáil this afternoon. The Government completely ignored this matter and its impact on the community and refused to discuss it in the Dáil.
“The Government’s only response to my request to discuss this matter was to vote to suspend me from the Dáil for three days. This high-handed approach by the Government shows complete disrespect to the people of County Laois.
“The closure of Shane Hospital with 30 high-dependency elderly patients is heartless and cruel. These patients deserve a caring, compassionate Government and not simply to be cast out of the only environment they know as their home at this stage of their lives.
“There is no justification for the closure of Shane Hospital and I have already highlighted that there will be no cost-benefit for the HSE for the closure of Abbeyleix Community Hospital.
“The nature in which both of these decisions have been handled and announced to staff, patients and their families has been totally inappropriate. The Government must reverse these decisions as a matter of urgency.”