Concerns at Mayo General cuts

medicalMayo Fianna Fáil TD Dara Calleary has expressed serious concern about an escalating crisis at Mayo General Hospital following news of severe cutbacks to frontline services.

Deputy Calleary has been informed that the HSE is to close 10 orthopaedic beds and 1 out of 4 of the surgical wards at Mayo General. In addition to this, a further 12 in-patient beds are being downgraded to day beds.  All of this is part of the latest round of additional cutbacks sanctioned by the Minister for Health James Reilly.

“There is no doubt that these latest cuts will have a serious impact on patients in Mayo and there can be no justification for this,” said Deputy Calleary.

“Mayo General Hospital is already under severe pressure, particularly since the closure of the A&E in Roscommon. The number of admissions Mayo General’s Emergency Department doubled between July 2011 and July 2012 and waiting times have increased significantly.  Much of this is directly down to the surge in patients travelling to Mayo for treatment because they’ve nowhere to go since the Government downgraded Roscommon Hospital.

“Management at Mayo General applied to the Health Minister’s new Special Delivery Unit for help in tackling its soaring waiting lists. But they were denied any level of support.  This raises further questions about what exactly Minister Reilly’s expensive SDU project is actually for, if not to address issues such as this at hospitals like Mayo General?

“Mayo General Hospital is already €5.1 million in debt for the first half of this year and is on course to end the year with an overspend of €9 million. Despite the hospital’s best efforts, it is dealing with a surge in demand for its services due to the closure and downgrading of other facilities in this region over the past 18 months.

“I am urging the Government to reconsider these dangerous new cuts to our local health services, and to address the escalating funding crisis at Mayo General Hospital. It is abundantly clear that Mayo General simply cannot take any more blunt cuts to frontline resources and that patients’ lives will be put at risk unless the Government takes this seriously,” said Deputy Calleary.