Fianna Fáil TD Sean Fleming, Charlie Flanagan TD and Brian Stanley TD met with Minister for Health Simon Harris earlier this morning, Friday 15th December to discuss the draft action plan prepared by the HSE regional management on the future of Portlaoise Hospital.
Deputy Fleming said, “At the meeting I made clear the opposition to the proposals in this plan and asked the Minister to examine the hospital care provision in a national context.
“The Minister made clear that he has not made his mind up on this plan, however he did state that a plan and clarity was required. He confirmed that he was not happy with the process by which this plan was produced as there was no consultation with clinicians in the hospital and local GP’s. The Minister confirmed that there is no funding provided or available to meet the costs of this plan which the author of the plan guesses could be €140m.
“The Minister confirmed that he will meet local clinicians early in 2018. However he did say that he wants to bring some clarity in relation to the next step in the process before the end of the year. He gave no indication what this clarity will entail at this stage.
“The Minister also confirmed that the Department of Health has no agenda against Portlaoise Hospital. However he was specifically speaking for the Department and not on behalf of the HSE. I am seriously concerned, as a Laois Public Representative, that the HSE has an agenda against Portlaoise Hospital. I will be asking the Minister to confirm that policy issues in relation to Portlaoise Hospital will be decided by the Minister and not by the HSE,” concluded Deputy Fleming.