Mid-West Region bearing the brunt of HSE Cutbacks – BREEN.

September 14th, 2010 - Pat Breen

Fine Gael’s Deputy Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Clare T.D. Pat Breen said today (Wednesday) that the Mid-West Region is bearing the brunt of HSE cutbacks. He warned that the moratorium on recruitment and that the non-filling of vacancies coupled with ward and bed closures are impacting very severely on the delivery of frontline services.

“On Tuesday, 45 patients are awaiting access to a hospital bed at the Mid West Regional Hospital in Limerick, 24 in A&E, 10 in a transit lounge and 11 more behind doors or on corridors in wards that are already overcrowded. There are still 9 patients on trollies at the Hospital today. Next week, the HSE is planning to close a further 50 beds in Limerick, the situation at the Hospital is now critical. How are doctors and nurses supposed to deliver first class patient care in third world conditions? It is quite clear now that the decision to restrict the operating hours of the A&E’s Departments at Ennis and Nenagh Hospitals was premature given the fact that the additional facilities were not put in place in Limerick.

“While a temporary stay of execution has been granted on any further theatre closures for the moment following discussions between the Consultants, Trade Unions and HSE management, this is dependant on alternative cost saving measures being agreed in the interim. I understand that the HSE Mid West Region still has a shortfall of around €3 million which it has to addresses and a range of cost saving measures introduced here in County Clare has already resulted in the closure of 25 beds at Ennis General Hospital and 30 beds at St. Joseph’s Hospital.”

“The HSE Mid West is bearing the brunt of HSE cutbacks as they battle against huge overruns reported to be around €90m. Student mid-wives in this Region, for example, are not being replaced in this Region and we are the only Region where this is happening.”

“If the people of County Clare are to receive the Health Services they deserve, then the staff and resources must be in place to deliver this service. In that regard, the Minister for Health and Children Mary Harney in conjunction with the HSE, must review this moratorium and ensure that frontline line services are protected, and that Hospitals like Ennis which are efficient and working well are not further penalised in any further cutbacks, otherwise, the people of this Region, will continue to bear the brunt of HSE cutbacks.”