Hands Off Our Hospital - Deputy Seamus Healy
Deputy Seamus Healy, Chair of the Save Our Acute Hospital Services Committee, has warned the Health Service Executive and the Minister for Health to keep their hands off the services at South Tipperary General Hospital.Deputy Healy was responding to media reports suggesting that the emergency department at the Hospital was being earmarked for closure.As in the past, “people power” will defeat any attempt to downgrade services at South Tipperary General Hospital.Saturday 27th March, 2010 was a red letter day for hospital services in South Tipperary. That was the day the people of South Tipperary stood, 15,000 strong, on the streets of Clonmel and defeated the last attempt to downgrade and transfer our hospital services.I have no doubt the people of Tipperary will do the same again if needed.The closure of the emergency department at South Tipperary General Hospital would be dangerous and irresponsible and would indeed put lives at risk with seriously ill patients bypassing the hospital going to already overcrowded services at Cork and Waterford.Far from downgrading and closure, South Tipperary General Hospital needs to be supported with additional resources, funding and staff. The hospital is “bursting at its seams” working at 120% capacity every hour of every day.The newly appointed Minister for Health, Mr. Simon Harris T.D., at my request, will be visiting the hospital shortly to see both the excellent work being done at the hospital and the difficulties being experienced by patients and staff due to under resourcing and shortage of beds. Indeed we are currently in discussion with the Minister with a view to getting approval for a quick build 40 bed capacity modular/hotel type unit for the hospital for the coming winter.I will be raising the issue of the future of the emergency department at South Tipperary General Hospital in the Dáil with the Minister this week.