Our Lady’s Hospital Crumlin needs urgent support – Calleary

The cramped and third-world condition of the Outpatient’s Department at Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children Crumlin should be a matter of grave concern for the Government according to Mayo Fianna Fáil TD Dara Calleary.

Deputy Calleary made his comments having raised the matter with the Minister for Health in the Dáil this week.

“The fundraising wing of Our Lady’s Hospital currently has an urgent appeal to help save a facility that goes right through the heart of our country’s largest children’s hospital. For years Crumlin has delivered world-class care in less than ideal conditions, but many of those facilities are struggling with new roles and increased demand.

“The Outpatients Department – an incredibly vital component of the hospital , was built over half a century ago, and was never designed to sustain the kind of traffic, or procedures, that it now has to deal with on a daily basis. It’s now falling apart at the seams.

“I raised this matter with the Minister in the Dáil this week asking him if he is aware that parents of present and past patients of the hospital have been issued with letters appealing for donations to help alleviate a €1 million funding shortfall for the redevelopment of the Outpatient’s Department. I asked him if he is aware that over 1,500 children use this facility each week – that is over 80,000 children each year – many thousands from Mayo, and if he agrees that the facilities they are forced to endure are simply not good enough.

“In reply the Minister pointed out that the new National Children’s Hospital is a priority for the Government. It is not good enough for the Minister for Health to simply state that the New National Children’s Hospital is a priority for the Government, especially when he is not expecting a block to be laid on site until January 2016 at the very earliest.

“He failed to offer any opinion on the existing Outpatient’s Facility at Crumlin or what he expects parents and children to do in a space in which two wheelchairs cannot pass or where there are no changing facilities for children with disabilities. This is not good enough.

“While many local individuals and organisations do trojan work in fundraising for Our Lady;s including St. Mary’s Secondary School Ballina who hold an annual event, it is unfair to expect the management of the facility to rely upon fundraising and donations alone.

“I am calling upon the Government to advance the National Children’s Hospital without delay and to provide adequate funding support to Our Lady’s Hospital Crumlin in the interim. “