Monday 16 September 2019

Public hospital meeting as review deadline draws near

AS THE deadline looms for the release of a HSE review of hospital services, the general public is being urged to attend a public meeting about the future of Wexford General Hospital.

The meeting in the Talbot Hotel on Monday night next, March 22, has been organised by former Minister for Health, Deputy Brendan Howlin as a cross-party response to the threat to Wexford's A&E unit and other services.

The Labour T.D. and other Oireachtas members met hospital clinical director Colm Quigley and HSE manager Richard Dooley for an update in the hospital last Friday.

The learned that the review is to to be completed by April 30. Before its publication, Deputy Howlin wants Wexford to give a show of public strength against any decision to downgrade vital hospital services in the town.

'It's important for us to continue our campaign for what is important to us', he said.

'There are going to be changes in the delivery of services but we have to declare our bottom line and send out a clear message that there will be a campaign of resistance if certain services are touched', he added.

The meeting will start at 8 p.m. and will be addressed by Dr. Quigley, Clinical Director of the Review Group; Ken Mealy, Consultant Surgeon in Wexford Hospital and Bernard Finnegan, Director of Nursing who will outline the implications of the report.

All the Wexford Oireachtas members and local councillors will also attend.

Senator Liam Twomey of Fine Gael said that following last Friday's meeting, there was still no clear indication that the HSE understood the importance of the A&E department for the people of Wexford.

'The HSE did give an undertaking that they would come back to the Oireachtas members before the final report was published but there is still a need for the people of Wexford to remain vigilant', he said.

Dr. Twomey said the politicians had their say at the last public meeting but this time, the doctors, nurses, administrative staff, patient representatives and other health care workers should do the talking.

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