Offaly TD calls for protection of A&E at Portlaoise Hospital
Sinn Féin TD for Offaly and North Tipperary, Carol Nolan, has said that proposals to downgrade Portlaoise Accident and Emergency will have serious implications for hospital services in the Midlands.
Speaking during a debate on the issue in the Dáil today, Teachta Nolan said: “If proposals are implemented by Government to downgrade Accident and Emergency services, this could put lives at risk. Tullamore Accident and Emergency has already been in crisis – the full capacity protocol was activated three times last year."
“There is no way that this hospital could cope with an extra intake of patients. Surely it is time to be improving our hospital services not downgrading them in light of the absolute chaos in the health service," Nolan added.
“It seems reckless to pursue such an action, which would have serious and detrimental consequences for patients."
She went on to suggest that, “the approval of the proposed action plan submitted to the Department of Health is a policy decision for the Minister for Health," adding that "the Minister has full responsibility for this decision and cannot be allowed to shirk that responsibility."
“This government must learn from the mistakes of previous downgrades such as Roscommon Hospital. The Minister must reassure people in the Midlands that such a reckless decision will not be taken," Nolan claimed.
“In 2016, 39,212 people attended Accident and Emergency services in Portlaoise Hospital. This clearly shows that there is a demand for the service and it needs to be retained."
“I am calling on the Minister to make a clear commitment here today that he will not approve any proposal to downgrade Accident and Emergency Services in Portlaoise Hospital and that he will provide additional resources across the Midlands to address the crisis in our hospitals," concluded in the Dáil.
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