Monaghan Hospital: New Health Minister Must Deliver!

11 March 2011 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Immediate pressure has been exerted by Monaghan Co Council on the incoming Fine Gael-Labour Government, in particular newly appointed Minister for Health James Reilly, to restore services at Monaghan General Hospital.
At their meeting on Monday, the Council members gave unanimous backing to a motion of urgent business tabled by the Sinn Féin councillors in the following terms:
“That Monaghan Co Council calls on the incoming government to radically overhaul the health services across this state, including, as a priority for the people of this county, to restore all acute, medical and emergency services removed from Monaghan General Hospital by the previous government under the auspices of the HSE. That we also call for the further development of appropriate services at the site of Monaghan General Hospital.
“That this Council also requests a meeting with the incoming Minister for Health as soon as they are appointed to discuss this and other health-related issues pertaining to the people of Co Monaghan.”
During discussion of the motion, Fine Gael’s Hugh McElvaney pledged to hold the new Government and its Ministers to previous undertakings in relation to service restoration and improvement at Monaghan Hospital.
“Monaghan General Hospital has to be seen as priority No. 1,” Colr McElvaney declared. “And rest assured that everything will be done – I will keep them to their word, don’t you worry about it.”
In moving the motion, SF’s Brian McKenna said that over the last ten years, particularly under the last Fianna Fáil/Green government and its FF/PD predecessor, they had seen the diminution of health services throughout the country. Colr McKenna recalled the removal of maternity services, surgical cover and finally acute medical cover from Monaghan General Hospital.
They had been told this was part of an overall plan by the HSE. A number of promises were made about a new regional hospital that would cater for 350,000 people, and were also assured that new primary care centres, fully staffed and serviced, would be provided, but this had not come to pass.
Colr McKenna said that a Doctor on Call service had been established in Castleblayney, with a centre planned for Monaghan but never actually opened, but in the past three weeks they were told that the Doctor on Call service was to be downgraded. They had also seen the development of two thirteen-bed wards in Monaghan General Hospital at a cost of €1.2 million and the provision of an emergency treatment room, but this facility had been downgraded to a minor injuries unit.

Full report in The Northern Standard

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