100 doctors go public to highlight Mallow cutbacks

DOCTORS will go public today to highlight how funding and staffing cuts are threatening their town’s hospital.

The move comes a day before more doctors attend a public meeting in Cork city to discuss the crisis in the health service.

Representatives of up to 100 GPs from the north Cork area will address a press briefing in Mallow this morning to discuss what they say are attempts to downgrade services at Mallow General Hospital.

They recently signed and submitted a letter to the Health Service Executive South outlining their concerns at the absence of an executive management structure at the hospital, and the fact a CT scanner is lying idle at the hospital more than a year after it was bought.

But they decided to go public after the hospital was forced to withdraw surgical weekend cover last week after the HSE decided not to replace an outgoing locum surgeon.

The hospital had been assured as recently as March 26 that a replacement would be provided.

But the plug was pulled last week meaning only two surgical consultants are based at the hospital.

It means patients requiring surgery at weekends have to be transferred to Cork University Hospital.

Labour TD Sean Sherlock will attend the meeting. He backed the calls from Cllr James Kennedy, a Labour member of Mallow Town Council, urging people to take to the streets to support the hospital.

Meanwhile, former Socialist Party TD Joe Higgins will join Dr Christine O’Malley of Doctors Alliance for Better Healthcare and Dr Eamonn Shanahan GP at a public meeting in the Victoria Hotel, on St Patrick’s Street at 8pm tomorrow night.

The meeting is organised by the Campaign for a Real Public Health Service and will be chaired by Socialist Party councillor Mick Barry.

Issues to be discussed include the €5 million accident and emergency unit at the Mercy University Hospital which has lain idle for 15 months because of the HSE’s refusal to sanction staffing costs, and the Beacon Medical Group’s plans to build a private co-located hospital on the grounds of the Cork University Hospital.

“More than 7,000 people marched for a decent public health service in Dublin on March 31,” Mr Barry said.

“This needs to be the start of a national campaign which would include similar initiatives in Cork.

“However, this will only happen if health service workers and members of the public put the pressure on for such a campaign. Hopefully this public meeting can help to advance things in this regard.”

More in this section

IE_180_logo
Price info

Subscribe to unlock unlimited digital access.
Cancel anytime.

Terms and conditions apply

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.