Doctor to contest election

THE former head of Crumlin Hospital’s emergency department will contest the election opposing the Taoiseach’s preference to centralise paediatric care at the Mater Hospital.

Dr Roisín Healy plans to run on the issue of the new children’s hospital.

The controversial argument about plans for anational children’s hospital has already caused divide among the medical community, but the bitter debate will now be played out on voters’ doorsteps.

Dr Healy is opposed to plans to move all paediatric care solely to the Mater. Announcing her move to contest an Independent seat in Dublin-South Central, Dr Healy said Crumlin Hospital staff have given their backing to her election challenge.

“When I informed the medical board (of Crumlin) I would run and oppose the decision, I got a big clap. They offered to pay my (election) deposit,” she said.

The consultant who retired from Crumlin in January 2007 after 18 years, said she decided to run as an Independent candidatebecause she disagrees with a decision to place the new national children’s tertiary centre at the Mater Hospital.

She wants a national children’s hospital at a 50-acre greenfield site on the M50.

She admitted the move to a greenfield site would mean a loss to children’s hospitals in Crumlin and Tallaght. However, she intends to campaign for a world-class service, only supporting a secondary acute centre at the Mater to serve the needs of north Dublin.

Dr Healy, in an interview with the Irish Medical Times, said she will also focus on the need to represent the interests of children.

As an Independent candidate, she will be running against Sinn Féin’s Aengus Ó Snodaigh, Fianna Fáil’s Sean Ardagh as well as Labour’s Mary Upton.

A total of 15 candidates, including Dr Healy, have put themselves forward for the five-seater constituency.

The children’s rights candidate intends taking votes from parties in government supporting the Mater site, namely Fianna Fáil and Progressive Democrat candidates.

“I don’t see why in this day and age we have to put children into less than five acres with grey bricks all around them when there is the opportunity to find more open space,” she said.

Constituents can find more details about Dr Healy’s plans on www.drroisinhealy.com

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