Government Deputies should stop hiding behind a Smokescreen and come clean on the future of Ennis General Hospital – BREEN

March 1st, 2010 - Pat Breen

Fine Gael’s Deputy Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Clare T.D. Pat Breen said today (Monday) that news that construction work is to commence in the Autumn of 2010 on the construction of a 50 bed replace ward block is a smokescreen for the Government Deputies to hide behind following years of neglect and underinvestment in Ennis General Hospital.

“There is nothing new in the development of a 50 bed replacement ward block at Ennis General Hospital. It is driven by HSE’s plans to reconfigure all acute and surgical services in the Mid-West Region. 27 surgical beds were closed at Ennis General Hospital in January 2010 and when I questioned this with both the Minister Harney and the HSE I was told that this was because acute surgery is transferring from Ennis to Limerick. The reality is that while Ennis General Hospital will have increased Day Surgical Activities, other services will no longer be available.”

“The provision of a 50 bed replacement ward block is to facilitate the development of Day Surgery procedures at the Hospital and it is only a smokescreen for Government Deputies to hide behind following years of underinvestment and false promises by this Government. When they had a chance to save A&E Services at the Hospital they voted down a Fine Gael Motion in Dail Eireann in February 2010. Over the past ten years, this Government has made numerous commitments to the Hospital which they have not delivered upon, with the former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern proclaiming in 2006 that “The Hospital is safe! And that this commitment was written in stone and that we should stop beating the drum. The Management and Staff of Ennis General Hospital have been starved of resources for years and every request for funding has either been met with resistance or been long fingered.”

“Government Deputies should come clean on the plans for the future of Ennis General Hospital, instead of hiding behind smokescreens, it is time that the people of County Clare were told the truth about what the real plan for Ennis General Hospital and what level of services will be available at the Hospital.”