Casey was speaking as the Irish Nurses Organisation (INO) met with management at Sligo General Hospital on thursday (Oct 15) over continuing bed closures and proposed job losses at the facility. The INO have expressed their concerns over the future sustainability of the hospital as a result of current and proposed cutbacks.
He added: "In recent times we have seen vital medical services being downgraded and withdrawn. These include the closure of an orthopaedic ward as well as Sligo's Stroke unit, despite HSE denials, and the removal of our much needed cancer care services to Galway. Nurses and other front line staff are losing their jobs in significant numbers causing huge concern for staffing levels and the impact that this will have on patient safety in our hospitals."
"According to the nursing unions, more than seventy beds have already been removed from Sligo General so far this year. With more staff cuts planned by the HSE, the reality is that the hospital will see a further reduction in the services it provides to the public, including the possibility of further ward closures.”
He concluded: "Their system has failed but there is a clear, workable and just alternative to ward closures, lengthy waiting lists, private hospitals on public land and excessive charges. éirígí believe what is now needed more than ever is the building of a first class health service that is truly free and equal, based solely on medical need and not ability to pay. A world class health service for all. The public deserve no less."