Alliance calls on voters to demand ‘statement of intent’ from candidates on health and hospital issues

4 February 2011 No Comments by The Northern Standard

The County Monaghan Community Alliance has issued the following statement in the run up to the General Election, where it calls on all voters to ensure they get a commitment from candidates to support a new health policy — which will include what it identifies as seven key requirements (listed below) on the way to restoring services at Monaghan Hospital.

1. The health policy which has been pursued by Government for the past ten years has been an utter failure and must be changed. The people of Monaghan can testify to its failure to provide a safe and accessible service, which is “better than what we had”.
We must convince whatever party/parties which make up the next Government that there is an alternative and that existing resources must be fully used since funding is limited.
It is a national issue to get an ‘Alternative Health Policy’ adopted by Government.
2. We ask the electorate to demand a clear ‘statement of intent’ from all candidates who might call on them for a vote. The Alliance has invited the leader, the health spokesperson of each party and all their party candidates in the Cavan/Monaghan constituency to meet with us to discuss their intentions.
Independent candidates will also be invited to meet with us. When such meetings take place we will inform the public of the outcomes.
3. The new Health Policy must contain the following provisions for Monaghan General Hospital:
• An extension of the Treatment Room functions from 8am to 12 midnight seven days per week,
• An extension of the level of treatment available in the Treatment Room, based on the evidence available since July 2009,
• That Monaghan General Hospital be designated as a Model 2 Hospital under the Acute Medicine Programme, which will allow for the development of an MAU (Medical Assessment Unit) and the use of protocol-based medical admissions,
The MAU could be installed within a matter of weeks and could initially be for limited hours. This would be of great benefit to Monaghan patients. Cavan General Hospital is under constant strain and frequently has difficulty managing the volume of patients presenting there. The development of the MAU in Monaghan would help to relieve some of that pressure and would be of benefit to Cavan patients as well,
• A review of emergency services in Monaghan and the difficulties being experienced by patients in times of emergency,
• An increase in the number and level of surgical procedures being performed in the hospital,
• An increase in the use of diagnostic resources in Monaghan,
• Increased use of wards in Monaghan as step-down facilities for patients being discharged from other hospitals as well as Cavan.
These 7-Point requirements for Monaghan General Hospital are necessary to provide patients with the basic health services, and every voter in Monaghan should be conscious of the obligation on them to ensure that these will be implemented by the next Government and that we are not presented with empty promises as has happened in the past.
We have also become aware that the Budget for Monaghan General Hospital will be severely reduced for the current year and this can only mean that instead of enhancements and developments they will have to cut services still further in Monaghan.
It is, therefore, vital that people understand the importance of getting the message across to all candidates that further downgrading will be totally unacceptable.
(Peadar McMahon, Mobile: 0860443300.)

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