Sligo éirígí activist Gerry Casey has described yesterday’s announcement that the Health Service Executive (HSE) is to close the 16-bed stroke unit at Sligo General Hospital, with the loss of 22 jobs, as “deplorable”.
Casey said: “Once again, what we are seeing is the removal and downgrading of essential services at Sligo General Hospital and other hospitals throughout the north-west. This latest action, which sees 22 job losses, including 15 nursing posts, will have a serious impact on patient care for stroke patients at Sligo General Hospital.”
He added: “This decision, coupled with the planned withdrawal of cancer services from the hospital, is clear evidence of an administration that has repeatedly shown a callous disregard for the health and wellbeing of the people of this region. It also puts paid to the lie being put about by the HSE that job losses won’t effect patient care. The care of these patients will now be spread throughout the hospital, adding to the workload of an already over-burdened medical staff and will cause difficulties in trying to provide the specialist care required by stroke victims. ”
He concluded: “This decision, along with other moves to downgrade services such as cancer care, must be reversed in their entirety. The HSE and their political masters appear more intent on implementing their right-wing policies of privatisation and two-tier health services rather than creating a first class health service available and accessible to all. The health and well-being of people must take priority and must suffer as a result of the greed of politicians, developers and bankers that have squandered the wealth of the Celtic Tiger.”