Independent TD Mattie McGrath has accused the Minister for Health, James Reilly TD of medical vandalism along with his colleagues Ministers Phil Hogan and Brendan Howlin and has called on the Tipperary government representatives to “assert their power” within Government to ensure that South Tipperary General Hospital does not become the poor relation within the south east hospital network.
The calls came after it emerged that Health Minister James Reilly fast tracked upgrades to two south east hospitals in the home towns of two of his cabinet colleagues. Upgrades were accelerated to St Luke’s Hospital in Kilkenny – the home town of environment minister Phil Hogan – and to Wexford General Hospital, in the home town of public expenditure minister Brendan Howlin.
“We cannot have a situation where some hospitals lose out to others in terms of upgrades simply because of the presence of a cabinet minister and I am calling on Deputies Hayes, Coonan and Kelly and Senator Landy to assert their power to ensure that South Tipperary General Hospital does not become the poor relation.” said Deputy McGrath
“Downgrades were also recently proposed for Waterford Regional Hospital and this would have a devastating effect on the people of South Tipperary. It is unacceptable that two hospitals within the South East Hospital network have upgrades fast tracked while the other hospitals within the network are threatened with downgrades.”
“We are constantly informed by the HSE that reconfiguration of the hospitals in the South East is based on the creation of centres of excellence, however it now appears that the reconfiguration has more to do with the presence of a cabinet minister than it does with creating centres of excellence, especially when the Board of the HSE aren’t even aware of the upgrades when announced. If the Government expect people to buy into the reconfiguration of hospitals within the south east then Minister Reilly should forget looking after his friends and start looking after the patients of the entire South East Region.” concluded McGrath.