The A & E at Portlaoise Hospital is one of the busiest in the country, and it could be one of the best but it has been undermined by senior HSE management in the last few years who have been talking about curtailing the service,” Deputy Sean Fleming told the Laois Fianna Fail dinner dance.
“That action by the senior management of the HSE has done more to undermine public confidence in the hospital and damaging recruitment,” he stated.
“The HSE has unnecessarily put a cloud over the future of the hospital. We will be demanding they make a clear policy statement to ensure the services we have in Portlaoise continue,” he said at the event which was attended by his party leader and former Minister for Health, Micheál Martin.
Deputy Fleming defended the decision to support the Government after last year's general election.
“Within our own organisation there have been mixed views as to whether we should be supporting a government like this or whether we should be standing back. People do respect us for the commitment we gave to ensure the country had a government.
“I do want to say one unusual thing.
“For the past 12 months for the first time ever in the history of this State we have had an opposition party been able to achieve more than any opposition party ever achieved before.
“We have a situation where we are saying to the government that if there are any additional resources in the budget, two thirds of it must go towards restoring public services such as health, educaton and other social services, and looking after people who need looking after and that its not all going by way of tax cuts to the wealthy that Fine Gael wanted to do.
“We have achieved that and there are many examples in the budget where there is funding for areas that would not be there if Fianna Fail had not forced those issues with the government,” Deputy Fleming said.