Fianna Fáil Health Spokesperson Billy Kelleher TD has called on the Taoiseach and the Minister for Health to personally apologise to the people of Roscommon for the cynical election pledges made to save all services at Roscommon County Hospital only to turn backs on the community within a matter of weeks. It has now emerged that the A&E department at the hospital is close completely and other services will be withdrawn from the hospital.
“Far from maintaining services at Roscommon County Hospital, the HSE – which Minister James Reilly has taken complete charge of – has announced that Roscommon County Hospital in its current form will almost cease to exist. The accident and emergency department is to close entirely, major acute services including coronary care – will also be withdrawn completely and bed capacity is being significantly reduced.
“James Reilly made explicit and, quite frankly, deeply cynical promises about services at Roscommon County Hospital.
In an open letter to the people of Roscommon James Reilly wrote: “instead of the HSE determining the future of Roscommon Hospital, its future will be in local hands. I would like to confirm that Fine Gael undertakes, in accordance with the Fine Gael Policy on Local Hospitals, to retain the Emergency, Surgical, Medical and other health services at Roscommon Hospital which are present on the formation of the 31st Dáil. Furthermore, in the event of the A&E being downgraded, we are committed to reinstating a 24/7 service, where feasible.”
Speaking at the launch of his general election campaign on January 28th, Denis Naughten TD (FG) said: “We have given a written commitment to retain services at Roscommon and to see services developed and enhanced for this county and the surrounding communities. We will take Roscommon Hospital off the political agenda once and for all.”
At the same event Frank Feighan TD (FG) said: “With us, James Reilly and Enda Kenny the future of Roscommon Hospital will be secure because we are telling the truth.”
Deputy Kelleher said: “The positions of Deputies Naughten and Feighan are a matter entirely for them and I’m sure they will do what they feel is right in light of the election pledges they made. However I am calling on the Taoiseach and the Minister for Health to make clear statements on what exactly is being done to the services at Roscommon County Hospital and how much of the hospital will be left when Dr. Reilly is finished with it. Dr. Reilly and Enda Kenny should also issue and unreserved apology to the people of Roscommon for making promises they clearly had no intention of keeping to maximise their own political support.”