Fianna Fáil Cllr for North Tipperary, John Carroll, has expressed his outrage at the announcement that emergency services will cease at Nenagh General Hospital from September 17.
Cllr Carroll commented: “I’m outraged that the HSE has decided to cut all emergency cardiology and general services. This is a disastrous move that will only put further pressure on Mid-West Regional Hospital in Limerick when Nenagh General Hospital is able to cater for these patients.”
Cllr Carroll has received correspondence from the HSE West about delays in the fit-out of the new critical care block at Mid-West Regional Hospital.
“The fit-out of the critical care block was due to be completed this summer but it will now be delayed until early next year. This raises serious concerns about the capacity of the hospital to deal with the extra patients from Nenagh, especially since it is already over-budget.
“Shutting down Nenagh General Hospital will be a costly mistake. Lives will be put at risk as emergency patients will have to travel a further 36 kilometres to have their emergency treatment. Some won’t get that chance.
“What makes this decision all the more outrageous is that local TD and Minister Alan Kelly caused uproar, with vigils and protests, when Nenagh lost its 24-hour emergency department in 2009. I find it astonishing that Deputy Kelly has sat silently and let Minister James Reilly shut down emergency services at Nenagh General, which deals with over 8,000 cases on a yearly basis.
“Back in 2009, Deputy Kelly said “it is an absolute disgrace that they are picking on a place like Nenagh and its hospital, they are using North Tipperary as a guinea pig”, he also stated that: “the HSE aren’t credible” and “they don’t have the finances to implement the plans they have and the plans that they have are at fault”.
“I hope Deputy Kelly will pay heed to his comments and reinforce this point with the Minister for Health and those that have used North Tipperary as a “guinea pig”. Unless Deputy Kelly directly steps in and forcefully makes the point that Nenagh General cannot close its emergency cardiology services, he will have lost all credibility with the people of Nenagh and the surrounding areas who depend on the local hospital.
“The result will be longer waiting lists for beds, an increase in overcrowding and patients turning up at Mid-West Regional Hospital because they can no longer get the care they need in their own community.
“I sincerely hope that Deputy Kelly shows the same horror and outrage as he did in 2009 and maintains a vigil and protest outside Minister Reilly’s office until this latest in a long line of budgetary mishaps is reversed.”