Cavan-Monaghan Fianna Fáil TD Brendan Smith has demanded the resignation of the Minister for Health James Reilly for his woeful mismanagement of the health budget, and for breaking his promises to the people of Cavan and Monaghan.
Speaking in the Dáil during a Fianna Fáil motion of no confidence in Minister Reilly, Deputy Smith reminded him of the clear commitments he made to patients this region before he took up office.
“When the current Minister for Health was in opposition, he stood in front of crowds at a rally in Monaghan and gave clear commitments to people that they would have to access fewer health services in Cavan and that they would be able to access more in Monaghan General Hospital,” said Deputy Smith. “He stated at the time that fewer patients from Monaghan would travel the Cavan road to gain access to health services. He promised that the day he removed services from our local hospitals is the day that he would resign.
“Not only has the Minister failed to keep this promise, he has made the situation in our local health services far worse over the past 18 months. Look at the cuts that have been introduced since James Reilly took up office. The minor injury unit at Monaghan General Hospital has had its opening hours and services reduced. A proposal to provide medical assessment unit at that hospital has been reviewed time and again. Home care services for people with disabilities have been slashed. And we are now facing major gaps in frontline services at our local hospitals because of the mess the Minister has made over the health budget.
“Some years ago, a very successful medical assessment unit was developed at Cavan General Hospital. That unit allowed other specialist services to be brought to Cavan General Hospital for the region. Previously, those services could only be accessed at one of the Dublin teaching hospitals. As the Minister knows, the development of a service does not necessarily entail additional expenditure in the health budget. I implore him to keep the promises he made to the people of Monaghan and deliver the additional services needed at Monaghan General Hospital.”
Deputy Smith said it’s extremely disappointing that instead of standing up for patients, Fine Gael and Labour TDs backed the Minister Reilly and defeated the motion of no confidence.
Speaking afterwards he said, “People right across Cavan and Monaghan are extremely worried about the threat of even more cuts to our local health services as Minister Reilly seems unable or unwilling to bring the situation under control. His own government colleagues may claim to have confidence in him, but it is quite clear that patients do not.”