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.