Cope claims Health Minister has shown true intentions on Donegal hospitals

first_imgDeputy Pat the Cope Gallagher has expressed complete shock following receipt of a reply to a Dáil question placed to the Minister for Health concerning the long term future of the three community hospitals.Deputy Gallagher says there is no question that St Joseph’s Stranorlar, Lifford and Ramelton Community Hospitals are to be downgraded or removed.He said “What is truly unbelievable is that this comes in the same week in which the HSE released the Rhatigan report into the future plan for the three Hospitals in question. “Whilst I gave a guarded welcome to the publication of the Rhatigan Report due to the lack of any real commitment of finance by the Government and the complete lack of clarity on the overall intentions regarding long stay bed capacity or bed usage in the Hospitals, it now seems that the entire process and the Rhatigan report itself was just a façade or a smokescreen to cover up what the clear intentions of the Government were all along.“The true intentions of the Government are to downgrade and remove the long stay accommodation capacity and other essential services from the three hospitals, it also calls into question what further intentions the HSE would have for Lifford Community Hospital in the context of the reply I have received from Minister of State Jim Daly on behalf of the Government and the Department of Health.”Pat the Cope added nothing has changed since he publicly revealed the original Department of Health decision of 26th of January 2016, which also clearly stated the Government decision to downgrade all three Hospitals and remove the long stay accommodation capacity and services from all three hospitals.He said what is completely galling is that in the intervening 18 months, are the numerous Government representatives denying that this was their intention and downgrading or removal of services was never their intention. “The Dáil reply which I have received now casts serious doubts and raises even more serious questions as to the true intentions of the process in which the HSE officials were engaged in with the community action groups, who in good faith were lobbying for the retention of the long stay accommodation capacity of the three hospitals .The overall process is superseded by the views expressed by the Minister in charge of Mental Health and Older People Care has not alone made his own mind up but has already underwritten it as Government policy by way of a reply to a Dáil question. I quote directly from the reply to my Dáil question of the 26th of July.“Under this Programme it is proposed to build a new 130 bed community nursing unit in Letterkenny by the end of 2021, through a Public Private Partnership or alternative funding model, to replace existing long-stay accommodation including that provided at St Joseph’s, Stranorlar and Ramelton and Lifford Community Hospitals.”Pat the Cope stated the entire process surrounding the community hospitals is in chaos with a complete breach of trust and faith by both the Government and the HSE.He fumed “The Rhatigan report which I received just this week is not worth the paper it is printed on until such time as the current Government reverse their own political decision to downgrade the three hospitals in the first instance. The communities which are served by these three hospitals need to be vigilant and fully aware of perilous situation that their three community hospitals are in at present – the only certain fact is that, it is the clear intention of this Government to close the long term stay capacity of St Joseph’s Stranorlar, Ramelton and the possible overall closure of the entire Lifford Community Hospital.“The only possible way forward for these three Community Hospitals is for the Government, the Minister for Health to reverse their original political decision to downgrade the three hospitals, to publically commit to the long term bed capacity of all three hospitals and to back this up with financial resources in order to make the building comply with the HIQA standards. The Rhatigan report will not suffice as its parameters were to explore alternative uses other than long term bed capacity which was also revealed in the Dáil reply of the 27th of July. “The Minister needs to get directly involved in this process which is now in complete turmoil, and both veracity and integrity needs to be restored to this process concerning the future of our three community hospitals.“Any further or future negotiations concerning the future of St Joseph’s, Lifford and Ramelton needs to be based on the principle that the Government is fully supporting the three hospitals and all of their existing services, including the recruitment of additional staff for all three hospitals rather than the farce we have witnessed over the past 18 months from both the Government and the HSE.”Cope claims Health Minister has shown true intentions on Donegal hospitals was last modified: July 31st, 2017 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:donegalHSEhsopitalsPat the CopeRhatigan Reportlast_img read more