Portlaoise hospital march: 'Minister Harris must say no to report' - Deputy Sean Fleming

Without A&E, maternity, paediatrics, intensive care, in-patient surgery, Portlaoise hospital 'would be only a glorified health centre'

Addressing the thousands of Laois people gathered at the 'Light for Lives' rally in Portlaoise this Saturday evening, Laois Fianna Fáil deputy Sean Fleming said he would not stand for the hospital to be downgraded.

After holding a 'three cheers' for the hospital action committee for organising the massive march, he said "this plan has to be rejected".

"The maternity would be gone in its entirety, and paediatrics, A&E, intensive care, in-patient surgery, what sort of a hospital will we have left if all that's gone out of it? It'll be only a glorified health centre and we won't stand for that," he said to loud cheers.

He noted that Portlaoise maternity is now "one of the safest in all of Ireland", because the HSE invested in it after the baby death scandals, but that they have not done the same with the A&E, despite HIQA reports.

"This new plan endangers patient safety, and has to be stopped in its tracks. We say no in Laois. The three of us are meeting Minister Simon Harris in the coming days, and will be impressing on him that he must scrap this plan. 

"This is not just about saving the hospital, saving the A&E, it's about saving lives," he said.

"You say no to this report. We say no to this report, and Minister Harris must say no to it," Dep Fleming ended to cheers.

Minister Charlie Flanagan addresses crowd.

Laois toddler Mary Claire has had her life saved yet again in Portlaoise hospital.

Huge crowd gathers in Portlaoise for hospital rally.

To continue reading this archived article for FREE,
please just kindly register and/or log in.

Registration is absolutely 100% FREE and will help us personalise your experience on our sites. You can also sign up to our carefully curated newsletter(s) to keep up to date with your latest local news!

Register / Login

Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.