Conflicting hospital reconfiguration rumours circulating
Local Fine Gael councillor Michael Murphy said that people should exercise caution in relation to the rumours.
“I think we need to be very careful. Any assumption that that existing acute services are safe, would be very nave indeed. The HSE are experts in the field of spin and if they think that this latest rumour is in some way going to quieten our campaign, they better think again.
“Now more than ever we need to intensify our campaign and I remind people that South Tipperary General Hospital is not just facing the challenge of reconfiguration but also significant funding cuts that potentially could also affect the delivery of acute services,” said Cllr Murphy.
But the HSE responded yesterday evening by saying that it is committed to its programme to reshape the roles of acute hospitals and that this project remains in the planning stage.
“On April 13, 2010, the steering group announced that its proposals will form the content for public consultation prior to its report being finalised in September. That remains the position.
“At the time, the group said it was confident that the public would understand its preference to get this right, rather than meet a self imposed deadline of last April.
“The steering group which includes representatives from all four hospitals in the South East has undertaken a very detailed analysis. No decisions have yet been made.
It said that a 'national protocol for the development of the reconfiguration plans' was agreed at a meeting last week and will form the basis on which the work of the steering group is brought to completion.
Fianna Fail TD Mattie McGrath said the rumours that reconfiguration of hospital services has been put on ice were 'dangerous and idle'. He said that he had spoken to Minister for Health Mary Harney last week and her private secretary yesterday and could 'unfortunately reconfiguration will go ahead'. Minister Harney's secretary told him that there were 'some admin problems in the North East' that may be delaying things.
South Tipperary Fine Gael TD Tom Hayes said that he too had spoken to Minister Harney based on the rumours he heard.
“I can confirm that the possibility of reconfiguration for South Tipperary General Hospital is still very much an option,” said Deputy Hayes.
“The HSE and the Department of Health are awaiting various reports including hygiene reports, risk-management reports, and various other reports about the efficiency of the hospital. Once they have these reports, they will be making assessments on the future of the hospital and I believe that decisions will be made in September using this information,” he said.
He said that he was still very concerned about the future of the hospital.
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