Fianna Fáil TD for Offaly Barry Cowen TD has demanded the HSE reverse its decision to cut back on Midoc services in Offaly.

Deputy Cowen says a full independent review is needed into the closure and that the public and local clinicians must be included in this process.

Deputy Cowen said, “The manner in which the HSE went about closing down the Birr and Edenderry Midoc services was underhand and downright sneaky. The public weren’t given any opportunity to have a say in the internal review conducted by the HSE and public representatives weren’t informed of the planned closures.

“The HSE knew too well that there would be a serious backlash to this short-sighted move. However HSE management failed to recognise that the people of Offaly are passionate about the retention of vital local services and are prepared to fight to keep the Birr and Edenderry clinics open. This is clearly evident by the large crowds that showed up to the public meeting on the issue last night.

“I am very clear on this issue, I simply cannot support the decision to close the Birr and Edenderry clinics. I am calling on the HSE to reverse the closure of these clinics. There needs to be full consultation with the local community impacted by this decision. I will be meeting with HSE management next Tuesday and will be pushing for immediate action on this.

“I will also be raising this in the Dáil next week and will be making it clear to Minister for Health Simon Harris that he will have to intervene if the HSE refuses to conduct an independent review of the situation. The failure to consult with the local community to date is simply unacceptable,” concluded Deputy Cowen.