POlitical pressure does the trick
The beds level is to rise to 60 by the end of September following the appointment of 11 extra staff members at the state-of-the-art facility which Minister Reilly was hugely impressed by. Bed levels had dropped to 45 over the last eighteen months or so but slowly that number has risen again and the push will be on after September to reach the golden figure of 67 - maximum capacity at the Thurles unit.
“I am glad that sustained political and public pressure has forced the Minister to make a U turn on this issue. I am delighted that a seriously wrong decision has eventually been reversed. It seems that Minister Reilly has belatedly seen the error of his policy decision to close the beds in this facility. I had confirmed in May that additional staff were being brought on stream in the Community Hospital to allow for the re-opening of beds,” Deputy Lowry said.
He added tha the Community Hospital can now return to fulfil its role and the function that it was originally designed and built for.
“Regretfully for over a year and a half Minister Reilly, by leaving these beds closed and reneging on his promises, denied many people access to the services and caused huge inconvenience and hardship. The management and staff at the hospital are to be complimented on sharing an excessive burden while working under extremely difficult circumstances.It’s rather cynical to witness Government representatives lauding themselves for re-opening these beds considering that it was theyclosed them.”