The HSE has cut the funding of Connolly Hospital from €104 million in 2009 to €84 million in 2011 – a massive 20% in two years when the number of patients treated has increased by 10%. This must become a major issue in the Dublin West by election and the two Ministers in the area, Burton and Varadkar, put under pressure.
Having successfully recruited doctors for years, the HSE blocked Connolly from hiring essential new junior doctors in July and instead ran its own long-winded and disastrous recruitment process. It refused to allow temporary doctors to be taken on from 15 August to fill vacancies –creating a crisis situation in the Accident & Emergency Department.
Twenty three Consultant doctors at Connolly have taken the unprecedented step of writing to local TDs declaring that the cuts “amount to a HSE management- sanctioned reduction of hospital services to a level that is no longer safe.”
One out of six acute wards have been closed; outpatient clinics were shut down for four weeks and appointments are being capped. Essential diagnostic equipment is becoming obsolete and not replaced. An MRI scanner and other vital infrastructure has been put off continually.
Most tellingly, the HSE has instructed management at Connolly Hospital to come up with costings for 8.00am-8.00pm A&E service as opposed to the current 24 hour. A 12-hour A &E generally leads to a downgrading of a hospital with quality of staff and treatment quickly following. It would also greatly pressure the other A&Es in Dublin.
Blanchardstown Hospital is a highly successful and respected hospital – in the top six nationally for efficiency and performance. It is needed by the 360,000 population it serves in west and north Dublin, Meath and beyond.
These cuts and the cost to health and lives is for what? To bail out speculators and very wealthy people who gambled in the banks. Nothing more can be skimmed!
The community who depend on Connolly Hospital cannot be complacent. Staff and local people have to act to defend the hospital with an independent, broad-based campaign. The Socialist Party will assist this in any way possible.
Defend Your Hospital – Public Protest:
No More Cuts
Hands off our Hospital
Saturday, 17 September 1.00pm, New Entrance
Organised by local community and hospital staff