County Limerick Fianna Fáil Niall Collins TD has criticised the Government for failing to address the planned HSE cuts to the surgical capacity of Croom Orthopaedic Hospital by 50%. Deputy Collins raised the issue in the Dáil this morning, however the Government refused to allow the issue to be discussed.
This is despite the widespread anger at the HSE decision among people in Limerick and their fears that this could have a substantial impact on the service provided to patients.
Speaking in the Dáil, Deputy Collins said, “Under the provisions of Standing Order 32, I seek the adjournment of Dáil Éireann to discuss an issue of major public importance to Limerick and the Mid-West Region requiring immediate consideration, namely the proposed decision by the Health Service Executive to immediately cut the surgical capacity of Croom Orthopaedic Hospital by 50% from May 3rd next and for an opportunity to call upon the Minister for Health to intervene directly with the HSE to reverse this decision, given his and the Government’s stated intention to bring the HSE under their direct control, to now exercise this responsibility and thus avoid the obvious disastrous consequences for patients and staff across Limerick and the region by reversing this planned 50% cut in the service delivery.”
However this motion was then rejected by the Government. Speaking in reaction to the Government decision, Deputy Collins said it is clear the Government are not living up to the promises they made to make the Dáil more relevant. “In the run up to the last election and in their Programme for Government, Fine Gael and Labour made a promise that they would make the Dáil more relevant. Well how is it relevant to reject a proposal that seeks to discuss an issue of such importance to the people of Limerick.”
“I was astounded that the Government did not allocate some time to discuss this matter. My office has been inundated with people expressing their immense disappointment at the HSE decision to reduce the surgical capacity by 50%. People from Limerick are very worried about the implications this decision will have.”
“This is an ideal opportunity for the Government to show that they mean business and that they will not allow the HSE to ride roughshot over our local health system. Yet, the Government are not intervening and they won’t even allow the issue to be discussed in the Dáil. This is a bad sign of what is to come under this Government and I think it is a sign of disrespect to the people of Limerick that they will not allow us to raise this issue and get answers from the Minister for Health,” Deputy Collins concluded.