Light for Lives hospital protest in November 2017. Picture Denis Byrne
Let all General Election candidates in Laois Offaly and South Kildare know that the retention of services a Portlaoise's hospital is a “red-line” issue.
That is the call to voters in two constituencies this week from the Portlaoise Hospital Action Committee. The group want voters to remind the 15 candidates in Laois Offaly and the ten in Kildare South, which takes in 12,000 Laois and Offaly people, that the hospital must not be downgraded.
“The future of the Midlands Regional Hospital Portlaoise was a key issue in this constituency in the 2016 General Election.
“ That it is still an issue going into the General Election in 2020 is a disgrace and a damning indictment of our politicians inaction over these past four years,” says the letter.
“You, the Voters, have stood by MRHP and have supported the hospital and the retention of its full range of services.
“ You have fund-raised, you have campaigned, you have marched and you have let your voices be heard on behalf of the hospital.
“We ask you now, one more time, to make your support for the Midlands Regional Hospital Portlaoise emphatically known. Over the next week politicians of all parties and none will be knocking on your doors and canvassing your vote.
“We earnestly request you to let each and every candidate know that the full retention of services at the hospital is a red-line issue for this constituency and that you, the voters, will hold our elected officials to account for their actions or inactions as the case may.
“With your support this will be the last election where the future of our hospital will be an issue.
“Vote for actions, nor promises!” concludes the leter.
The HSE presented a plan to downgrade the hospital in 2017 removing A&E, ICU, maternity, paediatricss and most surgery in the process.
The Minister for Health Simon Harris claims this plan will be superceded by Sláintecare.
The HSE has not confirmed this.