Public meeting seeks decision to be made on Abbeyleix hospital

Mary Kavanagh

Reporter:

Mary Kavanagh

THE Abbeyleix Hospital Action Group want a decision on the closure of Abbeyleix hospital and they want it now.

THE Abbeyleix Hospital Action Group want a decision on the closure of Abbeyleix hospital and they want it now.

So was the message at a public meeting this week (Monday, April 29) in the Abbeyleix Manor Hotel when a large crowd turned out to hear an update on the hospital status.

Chairman of the committee Brian Maher told the crowd that they are imploring the Minister for Health James Reill to make the right decision and look at intensifying services already in the hospital instead of closing it down.

“We must ensure that it is kept for future generations. There is plenty of opportunity to make the transition to a more sustainable model,” he said.

Sean Fleming TD said that the original decision to close Abbeyleix by the HSE was based on false information.

“Senior people in the HSE told me that the information Joe Ruane (from the HSE) had wasn’t proper information. He included additional costs and it was wrong to use those figures. The consultation process is based on flawed information.

“Had all of you not turned out in such force at the protests, Abbeyleix would be closed today. The HSE decided to close the hospital without consultation. It was based on bad information, statistics and planning”.

Brian Stanley TD said that it was a “scandalous situation” to be six months waiting on the Minister for Health’s decision.

“We are six months waiting and the number of beds being used is decreasing and they can use this to justify closure. We have to guard against this,” he said.

For more on this story, read next week’s Leinster Express.