Breen and Carey confirm no final decision has been made regarding services at Ennis Hospital

September 12th, 2012 - Pat Breen

Fine Gael Clare Deputies, Pat Breen and Joe Carey, have today (Wednesday) said they have received confirmation from the Minister for Health, James Reilly, that no final decision has been taken in relation to services at Ennis Hospital.

Deputy Breen said: ‘I wrote to Minister Reilly seeking clarification on a number of issues, following reports locally that changes were to be made at Ennis Hospital. The Minister has assured me and Deputy Carey that final decisions will not be made in relation to changes at Ennis before the publication of the Small Hospital’s Framework Document’.

“I believe our focus needs to be on improving services in the Midwest region, in order to support patient care and ensure the services provided at both Ennis Hospital and Limerick General Hospital complement each other. For example, upgrading ambulance services across the county will ensure people can be transported quickly and receive the treatment they need.”

Deputy Carey commented: ‘The reality is, despite the claims being made by Timmy Dooley, people with major traumas have been treated at Limerick General for three years now, since Fianna Fáil downgraded services at Ennis. What we need to do now is push ahead with improvements at Limerick General Hospital and I am calling on the HSE to engage fully with the public before announcing any service changes.

“A lot of very good work is being carried out at Ennis Hospital in the areas of endoscopy and radiology, and it’s hoped that the hospital could be designated as a centre for bowel cancer screening. This work will continue. I am also calling on management to reach an agreement with staff in Ennis to ensure the state-of-the-art 50-bed unit, which has been lying idle, can be opened.”

The Deputies concluded: ‘Our health services are going through a major period of change, and there will be huge challenges ahead. We cannot shy away from hard choices, but what we can do is demand patient care is not compromised’.