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30 Nov 2021

Call for health minister to visit and endorse Portlaoise hospital backed

Call for health minister to visit endorse Portlaoise hospital backed

People have been marching for Portlaoise hospital for decades. This protest was mounted on the streets of Portlaoise in 2011 to protect hospital

A Laois Offaly TD wants the Minister for Health to visit Portlaoise hospital and make a firm commitment on the future of services to be delivered there.

Independent TD for Laois-Offaly Carol Nolan has received a letter from the HSE which says  there will be no change to services currently provided at the Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise.

Dep Nolan said she had sought an explicit guarantee that there are no plans in place to downgrade any of the services currently in operation at Portlaoise, including a downgrading of the Emergency Department.

The reply came from the the General Manager of Portlaoise hospital Michael Knowles.

"There is no change to service provision at the Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise," said the brief reply.

Dep Nolan hopes the Minister for Health can go further.

“I am aware that the Secretary of the Portlaoise Hospital Action Committee John Hanniffy recently spoke about the need for Minister Donnelly to visit and publicly re-state the government’s commitment to the future of Portlaoise and that is something I would support even after the statement issued to me today by the HSE.

"However, I do want to welcome the confirmation provided by the HSE as it is extremely important that people have certainty around the future of our Hospital.

"Now more than ever it is vital that the provision of acute-care hospital services, a 24-hour Emergency Department and inpatient and outpatient services remain in place, especially as we are clearly heading into what is going to be by all accounts a time of significant pressure on local health care systems,” concluded Deputy Nolan.

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