“OUR patients could die, our children could die,” was the message from chairperson of the Hospital Action Committee, Cllr Kathleen O’Brien as she led a protest march against service cuts in the Dublin Road hospital.
The Portlaoise councillor said the HSE were trying to downgrade the hospital to a cottage hospital.
“We used to be called Portlaoise General Hospital, then we were upgraded to Portlaoise Regional Hospital and now they are trying to downgrade us to a cottage hospital,” she said, calling on the HSE to upgrade and retain all services in the Portlaoise.
“Our patients could die, our children could die, being transferred to the delegated hospital where there could be overcrowding and a longer waiting time. What part of the country would our ambulances be? We all know it’s imperative that we get to a hospital in time whether it’s a heart attack, an accident or any severe trauma.”
The action committee chairperson said the hospital consultants and staff had saved many lives and worked long hours over and beyond the call of duty.
“We have the hospital, we have the services. Our hospital have consultants and staff have given a great service to the people of Laois and surrounding areas,” she said.
Cllr O’Brien appealed to the HSE and Minister Reilly not to downgrade or remove any services from Portlaoise Regional Hospital, before asking the local TDs and senator to do whatever they could to prevent the hospital from being downgraded.