Laois GPs warn about Portlaoise hospital's future a year after thousands marched

Laois GPs warn about Portlaoise hospital's future a year after thousands marched

The Minister for Health Simon Harris has provided no clarity around the future of services at Portlaoise hospital, Laois GPs have warned.

A year after thousands marched against downgrade, the Laois group of family doctors remain concerned.

“It’s clear that the support of the people of Laois, who turned out in huge numbers last December has ensured that services at Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise remain open.

“We have no doubt that the numbers of people using the ED (A&E) and other hospital services continues to grow. It is extremely disappointing, however, that the Minister for Health has not provided any clarity around the future of services at the hospital.

“A consultation was promised with the community and this has not been delivered. The lack of clarity ensures ongoing difficulties around recruitment and retention of staff and also fails to reassure us that this Government is committed to investing in the healthcare needs of the people of Laois and its surrounds.

“The support of the Hospital Action Committee has been invaluable in retaining services at the hospital, indeed, without a clear commitment from the Minister and Government that ensures services are retained and upgraded, their ongoing support will no doubt be greatly appreciated by the people of Laois,” said the GPs.

The Deparment of Health told the Leinster Express no decision has been made on the draft plan for the Portlaoise hospital but is finalising a consultation process. It said Minister Harris would appoint an independent, external facilitator for this in the coming weeks.