PATIENTS and medical staff in Cashel are “gravely disturbed” that an X-Ray machine in Our Lady’s Hospital is out of action due to a mechanical defect, according to a local Medical Doctor and County Councillor.
Mayor of Cashel Dr Séan McCarthy also said passengers travelling through Thurles Railway Station could not use the car park without fear of being fined, or having their cars clamped, as the ticket vending machines are out of order.
Dr McCarthy told the Tipperary Star the X-Ray machine on the grounds of Our Lady’s has been out of order for the last week or so, and there is mounting concern. “As Mayor, I have been reliably informed that the X-Ray machine is not in working condition, due to some mechanical defect. And consequently, no X-Rays are presently being performed. This is a source of great worry, because in the existing Our Lady’s Hospital, X-Ray provisions are an essential part of the health services located there.”
Dr McCarthy said the problems stem from the decision of the then Minister for Health Michael Noonan to close Our Lady’s over 10 years ago. A High Court guarantee was given that a minor injuries unit would be instituted and maintained at Our Lady’s as well as X-Ray facilities, said Dr McCarthy.
“Clearly, what is happening at present is in breach of this. There’s also the danger that it is impossible to have a minor injuries unit, and determine injuries, without having ready-made X-Ray facilities. It is dangerous medically and exposes the Hospital to possible litigious actions.”
“The delay in repairing the machine for financial reasons is uncalled for, and patients and medical staff in the area are gravely disturbed. I am calling on the HSE to immediately to cease putting financial savings ahead of patients’ needs.”
Cllr McCarthy also pointed to the difficulties faced by passengers using Thurles Railway Station. A company called Nationwide Controlled Parking Systems (NCPS) handles the ticketing for the car park in the Station. Cllr McCarthy called on the company which provides the machines to take action. “There are presently major parking problems at Thurles Railway Station, an operation which is run by NCPS. I and other passengers have to travel to Dublin each day, irrespective of the weather conditions. Within the last week, the ticket vending machines have been out of order, and patients and passengers are very aggrieved. No guarantee has been given to them that if the company remedies the defect while they are away for the day, that their cars won’t be clamped.”
Cllr McCarthy said this is a “gross mismanagement” of the parking situation and “very undiplomatic” towards passengers using the rail service. “I have formally made complaints about this and indeed the Irish Rail Staff have been wonderfully co-operative. “It is difficult enough for patients to have to travel to Dublin each day for treatment, without having the added worry that this inefficient organisation may clamp them in their absence, despite their willingness to pay. I am also informed that the machines are particularly susceptible to break down, particularly in cold wet weather. I intend to contact the Minister for Transport (Leo Varadkar) to dismiss the present operators and re-instate, and put in charge, an organisation which can be relied upon for efficiency and diplomacy.”
As Mayor of Cashel, Dr McCarthy also slammed Phil Hogan’s to disband Cashel Town Council. “Minister Hogan is obviously hell bent and intent on getting rid of local democracy in rural Ireland. Any man who wouldn’t even save his own Council in Kilkenny - that speaks for itself.” Many services - such as the local motor tax office - would have been lost if the Town Council didn’t exist. The Council played a leading role in welcoming Queen Elizabeth II to Cashel, and works to promote the Rock of Cashel all over the world, added Dr McCarthy.