Local TD, Denis Naughten, intends to question Health Minister, James Reilly in the Dáil today on whether projects which were promised for Roscommon County Hospital were long fingered to fund the upgrade of Kilkenny’s A&E department.
Reports are now circulating that the delay in delivering the new endoscopy suite, the Governments “replacement” for the closure of the A&E at Roscommon County Hospital, was due to the funding being pulled to fund the new A&E in Kilkenny & Wexford.
In response to the reports, Denis Naughten stated; “At the very least the Minister must explain the delay in delivering two key projects at Roscommon County Hospital.”
“Firstly on the endoscopy suite; in June 2011 we were told that a temporary endoscopy suite could be in place with 4 weeks, pending the construction of a permanent facility. Minister Reilly was committed to having this temporary endoscopy suite in place by September and a permanent facility under way by early in 2012. Yet, 18 months later we are only now at the stage of seeking planning permission, and we are told that a temporary endoscopy suite is ‘too expensive’.
Secondly, a upgraded x-ray service which had been promised, and which would have encouraged the public to use the facilities at the Urgent Care Centre at Roscommon Hospital eventually became operational last September, one year later than it had promised to be delivered.
And there may be other projects either at Roscommon Hospital or elsewhere, which would have had positive implications for the delivery of services to people locally, which were long fingered while these other A&E departments were upgraded.”
Denis Naughten continued: “If this were the case it would add insult to the injury already caused by the disclosure that Minister Reilly was pushing for the upgrade of Kilkenny and Wexford A&E Departments at the same time as he was standing over the downgrade of Roscommon A&E.”
“There is no doubt that if even a small amount of the funds which were made available to Kilkenny and Wexford A&E departments were accessible to Roscommon Hospital then the level of activity and services available in the Urgent Care Centre would be far greater,” concluded Denis Naughten.