Fianna Fáil General Election candidate for Kerry Cllr. Norma Moriarty has welcomed the approval of two nursing and health care assistant posts; however, she is warning that more roles need to be filled to ensure that the hospital can run efficiently.

Over the past two months, the day hospital has had to close at least twice a week because of ongoing staff shortages.

Cllr. Moriarty commented, “Caherciveen Community Hospital provides much needed long term residential as well as step down care, taking people out of acute hospital settings and ensuring that they receive the care they need in their own locality, near to their friends and family. They are an important service in our local healthcare system and it is essential that they are fully supported at government level.

“Unfortunately, severe staff shortages at the hospital have led to the closure of day services over the past two months. This is just not sustainable.

“I have been raising this issue with the HSE and am pleased that Cork Kerry Community Healthcare has confirmed to me that approval for nursing and health care assistant posts has been secured. This will ensure the full staffing of day services so that normal service can resume.

“While this is a welcome development, we need assurances that staffing levels will be maintained and even increased. We cannot allow the current situation to continue, whereby day services are cut because the staff have to be moved to residential services because the hospital is so under-resourced.

“The staff at the hospital already go above and beyond their responsibilities to provide excellent care to their patients. Its deeply unfair to subject them to the pressurised conditions they are currently working in.

“We need to see the government recognise the important role that community hospitals play and ensure that the staffing and resources are in place to roll out these vital services”, concluded Cllr. Moriarty.