The Chairperson of the Abbeyleix Hospital Action Committee said they are still waiting on information from the HSE so they can interrogate it and develop counter proposals.
Speaking after their meeting with the Minister for Health last Wednesday night, Brian Maher said that once they got the information they could plan to counter it.
“The meeting was very constructive and positive. There was a good number of people from the action committee, the Oireachtas members, including those from Offaly and Joe Ruane from the HSE at the meeting.”
He said the six month stay would give both parties time to get their information together, but said the action group were keen to work with the Department of Health and the HSE to find a solution.
“It will take a bit of the pressure off and allow us to do things properly.”
“We want all the information that the HSE used to make this decision. The Minister agreeed that it was not an unfair request and told the HSE to supply us with it,” Mr Maher continued. “The Minister said he will shine a bright light into every corner of Abbeyleix.”
He said they were prepared to contribute financially to keep the community nursing unit, because it was such an important part of the town . He said they wanted to “help and partner” the agencies involved.
“In the interim Abbeyleix Community Nursing Unit is perfectly acceptable until 2015. The moratorium is a broader, national issue,” the action group chairman said.
He said there was a major disfunctionality with the system with people taking up clinical beds in Portlaoise, at many times the cost of keeping someone in Abbeyleix.
Mr Maher said they had been commended by the Minister for their good and clear case for keeping the hospital functioning.
“The committee have been so pro-active and they have to be given due regard for that.”