Fianna Fáil Health Spokesperson Billy Kelleher has called on the HSE and the Minister for Health to outline their plans to prevent an overcrowding crisis at Cork University Hospital and the Mercy Hospital, in the wake of the closure of the South Victoria Infirmary Hospital’s Emergency Department.
 
Deputy Kelleher commented, “It is deeply disappointing to learn from media reports today that the South Infirmary Victoria Hospital will shut down in six months.  It raises real concerns about the impact on CUH and the Mercy Hospital, which are already under serious strain at this time.
 
“In my view, Health Minister James Reilly is choosing the wrong time to do this. The Minister is shutting down a city centre A&E at a time when we already have overcrowding problems at CUH.  Around 15,000 patients visit the South Infirmary every year. These patients will now be forced to join the long queues at CUH and the Mercy Hospital, unless proper contingency plans are put in place.
 
“Just seven months in the job, James Reilly has bundled the closure of the A&E in Roscommon Hospital; he has shut down of beds at Connolly Hospital Blanchardstown in Dublin just days after his Government promised this would not happen; he has attempted to wash his hands of a deepening overcrowding crisis at the Mid-Western Regional Hospital in Limerick, University College Hospital Galway, Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda; and he has broken promises right left and centre to the detriment of patients around the country.  
 
“We cannot allow the South Infirmary Victoria Hospital become another Roscommon Hospital.  I am calling on Minister Reilly to be upfront with the public and spell out exactly what his plans are to ensure that our hospitals in Cork will be able to cope with increased pressure when another Emergency Department is shut down.”