Laois GPs set for crunch talks with Minister for Health Simon Harris on future of Portlaoise hospital

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

Email:

lynda.kiernan@leinsterexpress.ie

Minister for Health Simon Harris coming to Portlaoise to meet doctors

Minister for Health Simon Harris

Minister for Health Simon Harris is set to meet Laois family doctors this week on the future of Portlaoise hospital.

The Minister for Health to meet representatives of Laois GPs, who with hospital consultants have formulated a detailed plan that they believe can secure the future of the hospital's services for Laois.

Last month the GPs declined an offer to meet chief Dr Susan O'Reilly, chief executive of the HSE's Dublin Midlands Hospital Group, who has submitted a plan for Portlaoise hospital's future to the Department of Health. It was written without the GPs' consultation.

Instead the GPs opted to wait for the Minister to meet them, which he promised when he came to Portlaoise hospital last January at a meeting with Laois county councillors and TDs.

Minister Harris avoided the A&E unit in his first visit, because it was "exceptionally busy", according to Minister Charlie Flanagan, who will also attend tomorrow's meeting.

The meeting takes place in the Department of Health in Dublin on Wednesday, April 26

The visit was confirmed by the Fine Gael councillor Tom Mulhall yesterday April 24 at the Laois County Council monthly meeting.

Minister Harris will have the final say on the future of the hospital.