independent

Monday 23 October 2017

Alliance fights for future of hospital

CONOR CULLEN

A NEW COMMUNITY ALLIANCE, formed to fight for the future of Wexford General and oppose downgrading through the removal of acute medical services, has been launched.

Fr Jim Fegan, Wexford's Parish Administrator, launched the 'Wexford General Hospital Community Alliance' at the hospital on Monday morning, describing it as a ' voluntary, non-political group representative of the community at large'.

He explained that the raison d'être of the new alliance is ' to support and campaign for the maintenance and development of the high level of acute services provided by a very dedicated staff at Wexford General Hospital'.

'I am sure that no person here needs any reminder that this hospital has been and will continue to be at the very heart of the people of Co Wexford and its environs for generations,' said Fr Fegan.

'In other words, it is a family institution. It is here that our families and friends have received essential and life-saving care,' he said.

He outlined how busy the hospital is with a few key statistics from last year, when Wexford General saw 35,799 people attend A&E, 2,312 births and 56,514 out-patient visits.

However, he acknowledged the threats to the hospital against a background of severe cuts in funding throughout the HSE and the fear felt by members of the community that they will lose their hospital.

'Some people think they will drive by some day and there will be a padlock on the door and it will be left like the old hospital down the road,' said Fr Fegan.

'We are here to ensure that the economic and political threats that are affronting this viable and robust institution will be nullified by the power and goodwill of this well-formed alliance,' he said.

'If we do not keep the current services of which are under pressure and develop them, the health of the people of Co Wexford will suffer and that means you and me.'

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