Fianna Fáil TD for Cork North West, Michael Moynihan, has expressed his alarm at the announcement that the Accident & Emergency Department at Mallow General Hospital is to close.
The HSE South Regional Service Plan for 2013 was published yesterday, which includes plans to close the Accident and Emergency Department and move in-patient surgeries from Mallow General Hospital (MGH) to Cork University Hospital (CUH).
“It can take as much as 45 minutes to travel between MGH and an Emergency Room in Cork City or Limerick, it can be the difference between life and death or full versus partial recovery from a stroke for example.
“I previously travelled with a patient from rural North Cork in an ambulance that was headed for CUH but it was diverted to MGH because the ambulance nurse advised that the patient would not survive as far as Cork City. The patient that night was saved, but what will become of such patients in the future?
“While I welcome the HSE South’s commitment to the preservation of MGH, surely a central element of this would be to safeguard the A&E Department at the hospital. I have experienced first-hand the top quality medical service the hospital provides and I know how important MGH is to the area.
“The A&E service in Mallow can quickly refer any cases which are beyond the facilities of the hospital, this is also a crucial element of the care provided by MGH to the widely scattered population of North Cork.
“The increasing concentration by this Government of resources into the major cities at the expense of rural areas is a massive concern. Two thirds of the Irish population live in rural Ireland and it is wrong to remove vital services for these areas.
“While increased efficiency is desirable, it can be met without closing smaller hospitals and removing A&E Departments. I call on the Government representatives in North Cork to stand up for their constituents and reverse this decision.”