Fianna Fáil Health Spokesperson Billy Kelleher TD has called on the Health Minister or Taoiseach to clarify the situation on Roscommon Hospital’s Accident and Emergency Unit following the Taoiseach’s comments in Dáil Éireann today.
Deputy Kelleher commented, “When presented with an official report from the HSE which revealed that Portlaoise Hospital is to be downgraded from level 3 to level 2, the Taoiseach appeared to abandon Government policy, stating that an official HSE report ‘has no status in the context of the Government making decisions about this’.
“This new approach is in stark contrast to that taken as recently as June, when the solemn promises of the Taoiseach and Minister Reilly were abandoned in relation to preserving services at Roscommon Hospital. At that time, both of them used the reports of public health bodies to cover their u-turn, claiming that they could not second guess public health experts.
“The new approach, announced today by the head of Government, which dismisses the views of state funded health professionals and instead places decision-making in the hands of the Minister, would appear to reopen the debate about Roscommon. The absolute clarity and personal guarantee on the future of Portlaoise is welcome, but I would call on the Minister for Health and the Taoiseach to confirm that they are now open to treating Roscommon equally and will engage with local campaigners and public representatives there on the same basis as they are approaching Portlaoise.”
Read a transcript of today’s Leaders’ Questions in the Dáil with Micheál Martin and Taoiseach Enda Kenny: