Covid cannot be used as a cover to downgrade or close district and community hospitals.
The HSE is preventing Belmullet Hospital from accepting new patients because of minor maintenance issues. The hospital is fully staffed but currently has only 5 patients.
Patient referrals are being blocked from GP’s and Mayo University Hospital, as well as, home carers who are in urgent need of respite.This is wholly unacceptable. The reason given by the HSE is that there are outstanding works that need to be carried out. This is not good enough.
In April 2019, a Labour Court Recommendation instructed that four additional maintenance staff be appointed to Mayo University Hospital and that the transfer of maintenance duties to the Community Health Office should take place once additional staff were appointed. Why has this not been done? Who is responsible for ensuring that this was done? Where is the accountability? Why do patients and their families now have to suffer because of this failure?
Belmullet Hospital must be urgently made ready to receive step down & respite referrals. The community won’t stand for any more nonsense from HSE & Government.
This is an emergency situation. I have submitted parliamentary questions calling on the HSE and the Minister for Health to intervene.
Speaking on Midwest Radio.