11 February 2010 Edition
More pressure on Drogheda Hospital as Navan downgraded
Minister for Health & Children Mary Harney and the HSE have been slated by Sinn Féin over the decision to further downgrade Navan Hospital.
Sinn Féin Health and Children Dáil spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD, speaking on Tuesday, said “the decision to downgrade the emergency department in Our Lady’s Hospital in Navan is a further blow to hospital services in County Meath and in the North-East region generally. It will place yet more pressure on the dangerously overworked and overcrowded A&E Department at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda.
“Today there were 24 patients on trolleys and chairs in the Drogheda A&E unit. On 20 January, when the state-wide figure reached 500, there were 29 in Drogheda. The same figures for Cavan General Hospital, the other main hospital in the region, were 15 today and 23 on 20 January.
“We are seeing the death by stealth of a viable hospital in Navan, just as we have seen it in Monaghan. The ending of acute inpatient care in Monaghan placed further pressure on the hospitals in Drogheda and Cavan. Not a single additional bed was provided and under the 2010 HSE Service Plan we will actually be losing beds from the public hospital system.
“The policy of Health Minister Harney and the HSE is creating a dangerous and unsustainable situation in the hospitals in the North-East region and they will bear full responsibility for the inevitable damaging consequences for patients.”