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27 March 2008 Edition

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Reilly blows lid on Navan hospital crisis

Joe Reilly

Joe Reilly

Documents that graphically reveal the unprecedented frustration of doctors and staff at a Navan hospital over the threatened removal of services has been dramatically made public by Sinn Féin Meath County Councillor Joe Reilly.
 “Internal documents given to me show unprecedented frustration and anger by Meath GP’s, medical and other non-medical staff, and hospital management at the continuing insistence by the HSE of removing services from Our Lady’s Hospital, Navan and broken promises and failures to fulfill commitments given’, the Navan based County Councillor said.
 “It is clear from the documents received that the local GP’s, consultants and local management are totally opposed to the HSE strategy of downgrading Navan hospital in the absence of a new regional hospital. As a member of the Regional Forum I was informed on Friday 14 March that for the fifth time the HSE cannot announce the location of the hospital because they have not yet received a report from their consultants. Given the now more negative economic climate the whole future of a new regional hospital must be in doubt”, he said.
Reilly says the failure of the HSE to fulfil its commitments to building the Pathology Unit and the staffing of the MAU in Our Lady’s Hospital is among a series of broken commitment by the HSE management impacting negatively on patients and staff at the hospital.
 “I have long campaigned for the restoration of a full service in the pathology unit. Despite all the evidence to the contrary the HSE continued wasting tax-payers money by out-sourcing to Labourites even though the majority of GP’s were unhappy with the service and warned the HSE of their medical concerns”.
 “Staff of the pathology unit have shown by their efforts that they can provide a full service to Our Lady’s Hospital, local GP’s and save money for the taxpayer. The response of the HSE is to renege on a commitment to build and fully staff a pathology unit even though senior management in Our Lady’s Hospital are of the view that “it will be impossible to sustain the pilot scheme” “that working conditions are unsuitable” and that the laboratory should be given priority over the replacement of a lift”
“ Sinn Féin welcomes the decision of the Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) Meath Faculty and other medial staff to demand of the HSE that in the absence of a new regional hospital that service in Our Lady’s Hospital be retained. Doctors in Meath have now taken the unprecedented and brave step of declaring that the HSE is working at odds with the wishes and needs of front line medical staff. We commend the ICGP for their commitment to citizens having a statuary right to equitable access to hospital and medical services. Sinn Féin in Meath has campaigned with all its might against government efforts to downgrade Navan. The people of Meath have come out on the streets year after year in defence of their health care services and we ask them to continue to support the campaign by the doctors and others for the retention of services in Navan and in the absence of a new regional hospital”
In the context of the damning indictment of the HSE by the medical profession Sinn Féin has called on the HSE to:
•    Respond positively to the points made by the local medical profession.
•    Reverse its strategy of herding people into an overcrowded and possibly dangerous Drogheda hospital
•    Staff the Medical Assessment Unit (MAU) build and staff the Pathology Unit in Navan
•    Reverse the decision to reduce the A&E in Navan in 2009 to a 12hr Minor Injury Unit
•    Make a decision, after over two years and five cancellations of deadlines, on the location of the new regional hospital and commit to funding/building it
•    Put in place the promised 12 Primary Care Teams

Councillor Joe Reilly has called for the public to support the local medical profession and Our Lady’s Hospital
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