Taoiseach backs hospital reconfiguration process

22 October 2010 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Any prospect of a reversal of Monaghan Hospital’s loss of acute medical status was more or less ruled out by Taoiseach Brian Cowen when he visited the county town on Friday evening to attend a dinner hosted in the Four Seasons Hotel by the local Chamber of Commerce.

Speaking to reporters during an agreed “media doorstep” interview on his way into the hotel, Mr Cowen was asked by the Northern Standard  why more use could not be made of Monaghan Hospital, given that a number of services had been suspended at Cavan Hospital earlier in the week.

He was asked specifically about calls to return acute, in-patient care to Monaghan, bearing in mind that the current economic climate was, arguably, impacting negatively on the provision of the very primary services the HSE has consistently claimed will reduce the need for hospital beds.

Mr Cowen, who was flanked by Fianna Fáil’s Monaghan Oireachtas members Margaret Conlon, Dr Rory O’Hanlon and Senator Francie O’Brien, said the reconfiguration of hospital services was still in progress. He indicated that smaller sites like Monaghan should be providing day services and other “appropriate” services rather than acute care.

It was about focussing on a “positive agenda” and working with clinicians in determining the “appropriate” services that could be provided. These would have to be consistent with the safety requirements and the local needs of the people, he added.

That had meant reconfiguration in relation to acute services, he confirmed. But there were a lots of activities that could take place in Monaghan and hospitals like it.

“If you look at all the international and national trends, the increased activity is in the area of day surgery, it’s in the area of diagnostics, it’s in the area of medical assessment, and we can look at all these areas positively, working with a pragmatic and sensible approach,” Mr Cowen argued, echoing the words he would later use when speaking on the issue at the Chamber dinner.

Full report in The Northern Standard

Comments are closed.