The future of Portlaoise hospital must be revealed to encourage staff to take up jobs, Laois councillors believe.
They are sending an immediate letter to Minister for Health Simon Harris asking him to publish the report done by the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group,
Cllr Jerry Lodge's motion said that “the Minister has had adequate time to peruse the Susan O’Reilly report on future services at Portlaoise general hospital”.
“We met the Minister in January and he said the report was on his desk but he hadn’t read it fully. I don’t see why he is still delaying it. They owe it to the people of Laois. I say that we ask for another meeting, and ask Minister Flanagan to intervene. Any chance we have lies with him. If they get rid of older, experienced Ministers, Laois might not have one. We must ask him to take the initiative and keep the pressure on,” Cllr Lodge said.
He was seconded by Cllr Catherine Fitzgerald.
“We have a Minister, and people are waiting and losing patience. Minister Harris appeared to take it all on board but it seems a long time not to come back to us,” she said.
Cllr Caroline Dwane Stanley also wants a meeting.
“There is a rumour that Susan O’Reilly might retire, and the sooner the better. We might get a response then,” she said.
Cllr Willie Aird said the hospital was “in limbo” and this was putting off new staff.
“It’s been kicked around for three or four Ministers for Health. Us sending letters will not make one bit of difference. I don’t think anything will be said until after a general election,” he said.
The local campaign was at the loss of the late Kathleen O’Brien, Cllrs Lodge and Noel Tuohy agreed.
“Kathleen was a driving force, we have to get more proactive,” said Cllr Tuohy.