The future of two Laois community hospitals has to go through another bureaucratic process before the Minister for Health James Reilly makes a decision on whether or not to shut them.
Sean Fleming TD has been informed in the Dáil on the 22nd January that the Department of Health had received a recommendation from the Health Service Executive in relation to the future of Abbeyleix District Hospital, and St Brigid’s Hospital Shaen, Portlaoise.
The Fianna Fail TD said no information has been given in relation to the contents of this review which was carried out by designated officer and approved by the chief executive of the HSE. However, the Minister is set to get a second opinion.
Deputy Fleming said the report is now being considered by officials in the Minister’s Department and the submission in relation to the recommendations from the HSE will be prepared for the Minister shortly.
Dep Fleming said he also asked the Minister to immediately confirm a decision that both hospitals will continue in operation into the future in their present format and to end all the uncertainty immediately.
“Now that the report has been finalised by the HSE and is in the Minister’s Department the Minister should announce the decision. This unnecessary and excessive delay must be brought to an end as it is causing unnecessary stress and worry on the elderly residents, families and staff in both institutions,” he said.