Patient fear as HSE cutbacks affect services in Cavan General Hospital.‏

cavan general hospital aerialOrder of Business, October 13th.

I refer to the serious problems in Cavan General Hospital. Medical outpatient services were suspended last Friday, while surgical elective admissions were deferred on Saturday and Sunday.

All elective cases scheduled for Monday, Tuesday, today and the rest of the week, as well as medical clinics, have been deferred. Effectively, one could say there is no functioning hospital in Cavan as of today, although the region it serves is large. The assessment and rehabilitation unit is closed, except for the assessment of inpatients ready for discharge. Things are very serious. I ask the Leader to state he will convey my concerns to the Minister for Health and Children as a matter of urgency. I also ask him to request the Minister or a Minister of State to make a statement to the House because we need to respond to people’s needs. There is major fear and patients are not undergoing the surgery planned. It is dreadful, the result of an administrative bungle, and cannot be allowed to continue. I, therefore, ask the Leader to make an unequivocal and non-partisan statement in this regard.

It should be celebrated in this country and heralded internationally that we have a consensus to the degree that we have an agreement between all the parties on limiting the deficit to 3% by 2014. Fine Gael has been distinctive in putting forward issues such as fairness, waste, cutting at the top first, and maintaining essential front line services like Cavan General Hospital. Democratic debate in the country needs that. Are we turn opposition out to the streets? The fact that we have consensus on the essential deficit figures is the essential consensus. That should be heralded internationally and the Government should admit this publicly for the sake of the country.

Leader of Seanad’s reply…

Senator O’Reilly expressed his serious concerns about Cavan General Hospital. The HSE has said that the curtailments in services are necessary to allow the hospital return to what it described as a safe level of activity. It said that the cancellation of non-emergency services will continue until the end of this week. The number of patients presenting at the hospital’s emergency department or needing treatment in the medical units has risen by a whopping 50% in the past week, putting the hospital and staff under huge strain. As a result, the HSE put in place a range of measures to reduce activity. It is hoped this will be addressed by the end of this week. An increase of 50% in the demand for services speaks for itself.

Senator Joe O'Reilly representing Cavan & Monaghan 2010. | An ExSite website