Sinn Fein President and TD for Louth, Gerry Adams, has called on the Government to immediately restore the 22 beds which were removed from the Hospital of the Assumption in Thurles due to Government Budget cuts.
The Sinn Féin leader was speaking after a meeting in Leinster House with the Community Hospital of the Assumption Action group on Tuesday morning of last week.
He was accompanied by Martin Ferris TD, local Councillor David Doran and Liz Flanagan, who is Secretary of Sinn Féin in Tipperary.
Subsequently, during Order of Business in the Dáil Teachta, Adams challenged the Taoiseach on the Minister for Health’s decision to cut 22 beds from the Hospital and his refusal to honour a commitment to restore them following last years’ budget.
Speaking after the meeting the Sinn Féin leader said:
“I want to commend the work of the Campaign group in successfully putting this issue on the political agenda and in gathering a petition of over 6,000 people which has been presented to the Minister for Health”.
“The Community Hospital of the Assumption provides an essential respite and rehabilitative service for the Thurles area. The loss of 22 beds last September was a grievous blow to the hospital, and to patients and families in the community who are dependent upon this service”.
“The commitment by the Minister for Health, James Reilly at a meeting last November to reinstate the 22 beds has not been honoured. The effect of this is that the Hospital has now lost 2 nursing rehabs, 2 respite beds and 23 beds for long term care. There are currently 400 patients waiting respite care. A promise of 5 additional beds for Thurles falls far short of what was pledged by the Minister and is urgently needed within the community”.
“Sinn Féin will continue to work with and support the campaign of the Community Hospital of the Assumption Action Group to have these services restored to Thurles”, Mr. Adams said.