[Sinn Fein]

4th July 2002

Call for inquiry into North Eastern Health Board management after meeting with Minister

County Monaghan-based Oireachtas members this afternoon met the Minister for Health and Children Mícheál Martin on the current crisis at Monaghan General Hospital. TDs Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, Paudge Connolly, Seymour Crawford and Rory O'Hanlon and Senator Ann Leonard attended the meeting in the Minister's office in Hawkins House.

Speaking after the hour-long meeting Sinn Fein TD Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin said:

``We impressed upon the Minister the need for his urgent intervention to ensure the resumption without further delay of surgery at Monaghan General Hospital. Our hospital has been effectively shut down since Tuesday and it is a scandal that once more the elected representatives of Co. Monaghan, including elected members of the North Eastern Health Board, have had to beat a path to the Minister's door to appeal for his intervention to ensure that the hospital has a future.

``We made clear to the Minister that Monaghan General Hospital is now facing a doomsday situation. We called for a full public inquiry into the management of hospital and healthcare delivery in the North East region. We sought the appointment by the Minister of a `trouble-shooter' to the Board who would secure immediately the required co-operation of all relevant personnel and an adherence to Board policy by its Executive.

``We have been assured by Minister Martin that he is continuing in his efforts to secure the resumption of those services currently suspended. The Minister also assured the Oireachtas delegation that he is actively addressing the long-standing difficulties associated with Monaghan General Hospital, including its management structure.''

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