Proposed closure of Ennis A & E cause for revolt – Breen

January 13th, 2009 - Pat Breen
Fine Gael’s Deputy Pat Breen TD and Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs has urged the people of Clare to revolt against the closure of the 24 Hour Accident & Emergency Services at Ennis General Hospital.

“These proposals fly in the face of the HSE’s own Transformation Programme which aims to ‘provide better access to high quality and safe services closer to people’s homes’. Instead Clare patients particularly those living in West Clare, will be further removed from essential life saving facilities. Questions now arise regarding the Health Ministers commitment to the €39million Capital Investment at the Hospital and I am calling for an immediate meeting with Professor Drumm to clarify the proposals in this Report.

“Today is a very black day for the people of County Clare. Closing the 24 Hour Accident & Emergency Services at Ennis General Hospital spells the death knell for the Hospital. If these proposals are implemented in full Ennis General Hospital will be reduced to a step down facility for Limerick Regional Hospital and a minor injuries clinic, the people of County Clare deserve better.

“The people of West Clare are being abandoned. Patients from certain parts of West Clare face a two hour journey to Limerick Regional Hospital well outside the “Golden Hour”, the timeframe within which lives are often saved. Our ambulance service is already under resourced and remains over-reliant on on-call services. The reality is that lives will be lost.”

“Despite numerous commitments given by the Minister for Health and Children Mary Harney of a €39million Capital Investment Programme for the Hospital, not one foundation block has been laid. What is the future now for this investment programme?

“Finally, I am now calling for an immediate meeting between the four Clare Oireachtas Members and Professor Drumm, CEO of the HSE to discuss this report.”