Doctors' warning over A&E

Blessing of Babies in Portlaoise

GPs in Laois have warned that the Emergency Department at Portlaoise hospital could be downgraded post election but the Minister for Health claims 24 hour services are secure.

In a public letter several Laois GPs warn that the hospital could face a similar fate to Roscommon which lost its A&E despite election promises from former health Minister James Reilly. They claim that a plan on the hospital's future has been deliberately delayed.

“We are concerned that the delay is due to political agenda over-riding the necessity to provide a safe, sustainable future for the Midland Regional Hospital at Portlaoise. We are hugely concerned that a situation similar to the closure of the Emergency Department inRoscommon in the aftermath of a general election will arise in Portlaoise,” warn the family doctors.

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar confirmed to the Leinster Experss that the plan was 'not imminent'.

“I would rather get things right than do things quickly,” he said.

However, he claimed A&E closure was not on the cards.

“ I don’t think there can be any serious proposals to end 24-7 services in this hospital for the foreseeable future because the capacity simply does not exist (in other hospitals),” he said.

He included the A&E in this pledge but said all A&Es do not provide all services.

See pages 2,3 & 20.

See pages 2,3,