Carey writes to Minister Harney and HSE seeking cuts clarification

High numbers on trolleys in Mid West Regional Hospital, Limerick

Clare Fine Gael TD Joe Carey has today written to both Minister of Health Mary Harney and HSE Manager John Hennessey seeking clarification on services and staffing cuts in the Mid West.

In recent weeks, budgeting issues have been highlighted in local and national media and there is much speculation that staff and services in the Mid West will further suffer.

In particular, there are questions marks over bed closures at both Ennis General and St Joseph’s Hospital as well as further restrictions on staffing levels across the HSE West.

Deputy Carey highlighted the fact that last week the Mid-West Regional Hospital Limerick had one of the highest number of patients waiting on trolleys than any of the main national hospitals.

Deputy Carey said:

“There is huge uncertainty in the Mid-West region. Health services are already under resourced and over subscribed and now there is speculation that government is to introduce savage staffing and spending cuts.  Last week, figures released show that there were 38 patients waiting on trolleys in Mid West Regional Hospital, Limerick. This compares with 23 at the Mater and 33 in Beaumont Hospital which are two of the largest hospitals in Dublin. So clearly, Mid-West Regional Hospital is being placed under undue pressure and much of this is as a result of closures in Ennis and Nenagh. Now, government is talking about further reducing services in an effort to save money. It makes no sense.”

“Time and time again frontline services and those most vulnerable, such as respite care for intellectually disabled patients, is the first hit by this government. There is too much speculation about essential frontline services and we know that Minister Harney has left this region high and dry in the past.

Therefore, I have written to both Minister of Health Mary Harney and John Hennessey, regional manager with HSE West.

I want a clear and unambiguous statement from both on what exactly they are planning for health service cutbacks in this region. I would also expect a proper and concrete schedule time of works for the capital investment programme at Ennis General Hospital. This has been promised and promised and yet not a penny has been given by government. Let’s remember, this is the same government who is bailing out Anglo week after week.”

Speak with parents, patients and the general public in County Clare and everyone will tell you there is a huge stress on frontline services at the moment. And now government is talking through the media about reducing further these services.

It’s the duty of every elected representative in the region to oppose any further erosion of frontline services.”