Fianna Fáil leader 'shocked' at lack of consultation on Portlaoise hospital dowgrade plan

Conor Ganly

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Conor Ganly

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news@leinsterexpress.ie

Doctors in Laois set out their vision for the future of the Midlands Regional Hospital Portlaoise

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin was 'shocked' that there was no 'proper consultation' with local doctors and the public by HSE hospital management when drawing up the reconfiguration plan for Portlaoise hospital.

Fianna Fáil TD for Laois Sean Fleming said there had been a beneficial and productive meeting between a delegation of the Portlaoise Hospital Action Committee and Mr Martin TD today.

Deputy Fleming said he arranged and attended at the request of the Committee.

“The four members of the Committee who attended outlined their views and major criticisms in relation to the Action Plan that has been given to the Minister for Health by the HSE regional management.

“Micheál Martin was shocked to hear that there was a lack of proper consultation in drawing up this plan and the knowledge of local hospital consultants and General Practitioners and the wider community in Laois had not been taken into account when drafting this report. Micheál Martin felt that any such report needed to involve all stakeholders,"

Dep Fleming said he also made this point directly to Minister Harris last Friday and he accepted the need for full consultation and meetings with the stakeholders in the new year.

"I am pleased that the Minister has now acted on this and that the Department will conduct a consultation process in the new year involving local clinicians and the community.

“Micheál Martin said that he would talk directly to Minister for Health Simon Harris TD on the matter. He thanked the committee for their excellent presentation and assessment of the situation," said Dep Fleming.

In a statement, Dep Fleming reaffirmed his commitment to the campaign to Save Portlaoise Hospital and thanked them for their excellent work to date and said he will continue to work with them until we get a successful conclusion.

The delegation that met Mr Martin was made up of: John Hanniffy, Secretary action commitee, Tommy Timmons,  Chairman hospital action committee, Dr Sean Fleming, Hospital Consultant MRHP, Dr Sean Montague, GP from Portarlington.