HSE states regret, while Connick highlights 'real and present danger'
THE HSE ISSUED a statement expressing regret at Dr. Quigley's resignation and praising the 'enormous contribution' he had made to the reconfiguration group.
'Dr. Quigley's dedication to patient care and his vast commitments make it understandable that he would want to step down and concentrate instead on his role as Clinical Director of Wexford General Hospital,' it said.
The HSE said it wanted to reassure the public that all four acute hospitals in the south east would have a 'meaningful role' to play while re-iterating that though changes were on the way, no decisions had yet been made by the steering group on any proposal.
Labour TD Brendan Howlin described Dr. Quigley's resignation as a 'courageous stand' in defence of Wexford General Hospital. The Mayor of Wexford Cllr. Joe Ryan said he was 'deeply worried' at recent developments. ' I'm shocked at Dr. Quigley's resignation. He is a very strong advocate for Wexford and his role on the reconfiguration team did give a certain comfort to us that the hospital would have a future.
' That reassurance no longer exists. All bets are effectively off ', said the Mayor, calling for a clear, unequivocal statement from the HSE and the Minister for Health about Wexford hospital.
Fine Gael Senator Liam Twomey said the HSE's long-term plan as outlined in the leaked document will cost patients their lives and lead to more problems with delayed diagnosis. ' I watched with dismay the botched reconfiguration of the north east. I now see the same flawed thinking being applied in the south east,' he said.
Fianna Fáil T.D. Sean Connick said he attended a meeting last Saturday with other Wexford Oireachtas members at which commitments were given by HSE regional director Pat Healy.
' We were informed that plans for the new A&E unit are to be lodged in the coming weeks; the maternity services are to remain and that we will continue to have surgery, acute medicine and anaesthetics,' he said. Welcoming the commitments, Deputy Connick said it ' still beholds us to be vigilant to any potential threats that may come down the line'. He said that while he is disappointed that Dr. Quigley felt the need to resign, his actions highlight the real and present danger to Wexford General Hospital.