HSE must come clean on their plans for County Clare – BREEN.

July 29th, 2010 - Pat Breen

Fine Gael’s Deputy Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Clare T.D. Pat Breen has today (Tuesday) called on the HSE to come clean on their plans for the future of frontline health services in County Clare. Deputy Breen’s call follows recent reports that the HSE is facing an €80million deficit in the Region this year coupled with the impact that the non filling of nurses and midwives positions is having on the Service.

“The non filling of vacancies as a result of the moratorium in recruitment is placing a huge strain on frontline services here in the County particularly in the Clare Mental Health area; which is now over reliant on overtime to keep going, with 32% of all nursing positions vacant. As a result of the recession there has been a huge surge in the number of people seeking help for mental health related issues and the non replacement of frontline services could have serious implications in delivery care to those who are in most need. Furthermore, the doors of a newly refurbished dementia unit at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Ennis remain closed because there are not enough nurses to staff the unit.”

“The health services in Clare have been plagued by years by the failed promises and underinvestment by both the HSE and this Government. The result is that the health services in this County are now on the critical list. Fears that an further 25-in patient beds could be removed from Ennis General Hospital, on top of the 50 beds which have already been removed from both Ennis and Nenagh Hospitals as a result of the reconfiguration of services in the Mid-West only serves to heighten fears and uncertainty about the future of the Hospital. We have seen very little progress on extending day services at the Hospital. Vascular, Plastic and Colorectal day surgeries were promised as well developing Ear, Nose and Throat facilities. Instead of this, I understand that Ear, Nose and Throat facilities maybe suspended completely in the Mid West Region, so where are patients be expected to go?”

“Plans to close wards, suspend Ear, Nose and Throat facilities, reduce Orthopaedic services in the Region will only lead to cancelled operations and longer waiting times and it is the patients who will suffer.

“When it comes to our health services the people of County Clare have been short changed for long enough. The HSE needs to come clean on their plans and clearly state how they intend to deliver frontline services in this County.”

“In the meantime, now that planning permission has been lodged for a new 50 bed in-patient medical ward at Ennis General Hospital, I would hope that the project will not be subject to any further delays. I would also hope that there will be in an increase in the number of day beds so that surgical day cases can be facilitated as soon as possible.”