Health Minister urged to reconsider closure of HIV/AIDS respite unit

Health Minister urged to reconsider closure of HIV/AIDS respite unit

Health Minister Dr James Reilly is being urged to intervene as a HSE cost-cutting plan threatens to close a respite unit in Dublin which serves people with HIV/AIDS.

Campaigners will again protest outside Cherry Orchard Hospital in Ballyfermot this afternoon, to highlight their desire for the Rowan Unit at the facility to be kept open.

It is due to shut its doors in the coming weeks and patients will instead be referred to the Simon Community, which caters to homeless people.

Councillor Brid Smith of the People Before Profit Alliance said: "I would ask him to defer the closure of the unit until there's discussions directly with the users and their representatives and to consider keeping the services for HIV/AIDS in the medical confines rather than sending it off and farming it off to the homeless [persons] agency.

"It would be crazy at this point in time to get rid of the expertise, the services and the routines that are already established in a very good place called Cherry Orchard Hospital."


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