The slashing of 153 posts in the health services across Counties Roscommon, Galway & Mayo will lead to many older people being forced into overcrowded hospitals where they are at greater risk of picking up infections such as the coronavirus, says Denis Naughten TD.
“While I welcome the lifting of the recruitment ban on nursing staff in our hospitals to deal with the emerging threat associated with the coronavirus, this policy is being undermined if we are failing to fill staff vacancies in Roscommon, Galway & Mayo which can keep people – particularly older people – out of hospital in the first place,” stated Denis Naughten.
Deputy Naughten was responding to reports by the Forsa Trade Union that 153 primary health care posts in the West are being left vacant which is leading to the closure of services across the region.
“The West of Ireland has a much older population that the rest of the country and as a result we are facing a far greater threat than other regions. It is crazy to pick out this region for extra staffing cuts which will force older people into hospital at a time when we need to keep them at home,” added Denis Naughten.
“We must improve home supports and home care for older people at a time when they face greater risk of infection from the coronavirus, not introduce extra staffing cuts that put the lives of older people at greater risk,” concluded Denis Naughten.