Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Niamh Smyth has expressed disappointment with the Health Minister and the RCSI Hospital Group for refusing to consider longer opening hours at the Minor Injuries Unit at Monaghan General Hospital.

The unit is only open between 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday for adults and children over the age of 5.  Outside of those hours, patients have to travel to Cavan or Drogheda.

Deputy Smyth commented, “The service provided in the MIU at Monaghan General Hospital is excellent, and most importantly is available to people in their own community.  The latest figures available reveal that 450 people attended the unit in April this year, and I believe that if the opening hours were extended, hundreds more could be facilitated.

“The MIU had its hours reduced in 2011, which was a huge loss and provoked understandable anger in the local community.  The fact that people are being forced to drive to Cavan or Drogheda after 5pm in the evening and at weekends, when the facilities are in the local hospital is completely unacceptable.  They could be able to access these services in their own county.

“The attitude of the Health Minister and the RCSI Hospital Group is extremely frustrating.  They are basing their decision not to extend opening hours at the unit at Monaghan General solely on current attendance levels, when the fact of the matter is that if hours were extended, more people would be using the unit.

“I am urging the Minister and the RCSI Hospital Group to reconsider their position and to extend hours for a trial period.  I believe there would be a significant increase in attendances as people would not be forced to travel out of the country to be treated for minor injuries”.