THE HSE has refused to deny claims that services for sick children have been cut back to save money at Portlaoise’s hospital.
The Leinster Express has learned that nine paediatric beds were closed on Monday, August 1 which included five isolation rooms. The cuts were part of as part of a cost cutting exercise to claw back €1.8 million in projected overrun costs.
In reply the HSE said this was part of the “hospital seasonal arrangements” announced in July and this reduction coincides with current occupancy levels, allowing the hospital to “reduce spend without affecting patient care”.
Last month the HSE said the hospital was busier than projected but must comply with its statutory obligations and “remain within its allocated budget”. The HSE said every effort will be made to do that in a way that has the least impact on patients and clients.