Downgrading services at Portlaoise hospital will worsen the crisis in healthcare in the Dublin and the midlands a big rally against removal of services from the Laois faclity has been told by consultant cardiologist.
Six marches converged in Portlaoise where a big crowd gathered to protest the downgrade of the town's hospital
The Portlaoise Hospital Action Group organised the Light for Lives Rally on Saturday, December 2 was part of an ongoing campaign to fight the HSE's Dublin Midlands Hospital Group aim to get the Minister for Health Simon Harris green light the removal of, emergency, maternity, paediatrics, ICU and other services from the Midlands Regional Hospital Portlaoise.
People to Main St from six directions. They marched along the Mountellick, Mountrath, Abbeyleix, Timahoe, Stradbally and Dublin roads arriving on Main Street at around 6pm.
Hospital consultant Dr Sean Fleming and GP Dr Michelle Byrne set out the clinical case for retention and upgrade of services at the Midland Regional Hospital, Portlaoise.
"We have seen in recent weeks a draft of a plan for downgrade of services at MRH Portlaoise leaked to the national media. We reject this draft plan, the manner in which it has been released and the manner in which it was put together.
"This process has produced a draft plan that we reject because we fear it will if implemented worsen access to acute healthcare. There is a crisis of capacity at MRH Portlaoise. This crisis is not unique to Portlaoise.
"We consistently see large numbers of people waiting on trolleys for admission at Tullamore, Naas and Tallaght hospitals. The problem is not that there is too much healthcare in the Midlands, the problem is that there is too little," said Dr Fleming.
The meeting was aldso addressed by the three Laois TDs Minster Charlie Flanagan, Sean Fleming and Brian Stanley.
Action Committee chairman Thomas Timmons, secretary John Hanniffy and member Austin Stack were among the speakers.