Tipperary Sinn Féin TD Martin Browne has called for a full account of the engineer’s report said to be behind the decision to close St Brigid’s district hospital in Carrick-on-Suir.
Teachta Browne said:
“Since St Brigid’s in Carrick-on-Suir was closed by stealth last year, many reasons have been given for that decision. But despite these reasons, very little concrete evidence has been provided to back up any of the claims that came from the HSE or the Minister for Mental Health and Older People Mary Butler.
“In particular, an engineer’s report, said to be fundamental in the decision to close St Brigid’s has never been seen.
“Today I asked HSE officials to provide me with details about precisely when this engineer’s report was commissioned.
“I asked for this because we need to know whether that report was carried out before or after the Health Minister gave some of his party’s local politicians assurances that St Brigid’s would not close permanently.
“I also called on Department officials to provide me with details on who commissioned the report, and for a copy of it to be made available quickly.
“The decision to close St Brigid’s is one in a list of examples of how services are being stripped out of local communities at a time when the Department maintains that it’s focus is on care within the community.
“Another example, which I pointed out to the committee, was the decision regarding long-stay beds at the Dean Maxwell in Roscrea.
“I also highlighted how the removal of mental health beds with the closure of St Michael’s unit in Clonmel was another instance of key services being taken away from Tipperary communities; even though the HSE is willing to spend hundreds of thousands of euro to transfer patients from Tipperary University Hospital to St Luke’s in Kilkenny, and even more money on making the building suitable for Covid-related services.
“While the officials did not have the details I required at hand, I hope that raising these matters at Committee level will help in getting the answers we need.”
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