A WEST Cork hospital which provides long-term care for the elderly is to close within weeks.
Local Labour Cllr Gearóid Buckley said the closure of Millbrook Hospital in Bandon will have a huge impact on the town.
He called on the HSE to fast-track investment in the town’s HSE-run community hospital to ensure the region can cope with the demand for beds.
Millbrook’s closure has been blamed on stringent health insurance regulations, the outcome of a HSE/HIQA audit, and strict fire safety regulations.
The hospital, founded in 1920, is run by a voluntary private trust which cannot find €1.5 million to update the facility.
Millbrook used to offer medical services, including X-rays, but in recent years it provided convalescent and nursing home beds for elderly people, many with Alzheimers.
Yesterday, just five patients were left to be re-housed.
Mr Buckley said: “The current patients will have to be allocated beds in nursing homes outside of the town, which also means they will be further away from family and relations.
“The closure will put added pressure on the already limited bed capacity in the community hospital.”
He called on the HSE to deliver on its plans, unveiled in 2008 and which have secured planning, to extend bed capacity at Bandon Community Hospital by 17, bringing its bed numbers up to 40.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved