Outgoing parties have failed utterly

THE Ennis General Hospital bed numbers were reduced from 125 to 88 in 1988 under the Fianna Fáil Government. There followed a period of further removals of ancillary services.

In 2003, Micheal Martin, then Minister for Health, introduced the Hanley Report, which downgraded Ennis General Hospital to the level of a local hospital, with a nurse-led minor injury unit (8am to 8pm) to replace Accident & Emergency, leaving 44,000 Clare residents outside golden hour cover. The investment of €16 million, promised by Micheal Martin in 2002, for the re-development was replaced with promises of €20 million and €40 million, none of which has happened. It is proposed that Ennis will have 50 beds in the future.

The Mammography Unit was closed and replaced with a van in the Hospital car park.

Now, the High Dependency Unit (formerly Intensive Care Unit) is to be transferred to Limerick Regional Hospital, which is already stretched to its limits. Also the Psychiatric Unit is to go to Limerick, creating difficulties for visiting relatives and friends.

The services now offered in Ennis are 10% of services available in 2002.

In 2007, Trevor Sergent, Green Party Leader, undertook the provision of 24 hour per day and seven day per week A&E, consultant-led services at Ennis General Hospital and the honouring of the £16 million investment for the extension and development of Ennis General Hospital.

The three Fianna Fáil candidates, Brendan Daly, Tony Killeen and Timmy Dooley, issued an undertaking that there was no circumstances in which a Fianna Fáil-led administration would remove Acute Care Services from Ennis General Hospital. These undertakings now ring very hollow.

The old Fianna Fáil slogan, “Much Done, More To Do” could be fittingly changed to “Much Gone, More To Go”. The candidates for the outgoing government parties rather than running for office, should undertake a pilgrimage of penance around the county in sackcloth and ashes, and whip one another for good measure, while muttering “mea culpa, mea culpa”.

Also they should return their salaries and expenses, backdated to their election, for failing to provide proper government and selling us out to international bureaucracy.

To vote for Fianna Fáil or the Greens is to approve of the almighty mess they have made.

Peadar McNamara

Former Chairman

Ennis General Hospital Development Committee

Kilmaley

Co Clare

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