Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Brendan Smith has described as alarming details of a leaked Department of Health report which signals a series of bed closures and cuts to procedures at Cavan General Hospital. The Department is warning of drastic reductions in services across the health sector if the Government presses ahead with planned budget cuts this year.
Deputy Smith commented, “The scale of cuts revealed in this leaked report are truly shocking. The measures required to meet these budget targets are extreme and will have a devastating impact on the quality and safety of care for patients. Under the plan, Cavan General Hospital will lose another ten beds, putting an already stretched system under even more pressure. The absence of adequate funding has left staff and patients extremely frustrated with the current service levels at the hospital, and these will be exacerbated further if the proposed cuts are pushed through by the Health Minister.
“This Government has consistently failed to provide adequate funding for the health budget, resulting in increased waiting lists, A&E overcrowding and cancelled operations. People across Cavan and Monaghan are becoming increasingly concerned about the continued pressure that staff at Cavan General Hospital are under, and the contents of this report will do little to ease their fears.
“The report itself refers to the “draconian” measures needed to secure the proposed spending cuts and warns that the targets are not achievable and would “seriously compromise patient safety”. The Government cannot be allowed to press ahead with these plans. Since this coalition came into office, the standards in healthcare have dropped significantly, and Government TDs in the constituency have done nothing to protect services in Cavan and Monaghan. They are as responsible for the demise of situation at the hospital as the Health Minister.
“Cavan-Monaghan has a Minister sitting at the Cabinet table. The onus is on her to ensure that the sustained attack health services in this region is halted. She, along with the two other Government TDs in the area, need to stand up and fight for the people of this constituency. I’m calling for assurances that there will be no further bed closures, or downgrading of services at Cavan General Hospital next year so that the situation at the hospital can be maintained and improved”.