[Sinn Fein]

6th September 2002

Ahern must come clean on future of Temple Street Hospital

Sinn Fein Councillor Nicky Kehoe today called on the Taoiseach Bertie Ahern to come clean on the future of Temple Street Hospital. He was speaking following a meeting with Paediatric Surgeons who were voicing their concern at the threatened closure of specialist surgery services within the hospital.

Cllr. Kehoe said:

``Yesterday I had a lengthy meeting with Paediatric Surgeons at Temple Street hospital and they are gravely concerned at the threatened closure of a major part of its specialist surgery services. The erosion of such services would have a major impact on the hospital and would undermine its ability to provide surgical care to small infants in the long term. The downgrading of services would also have a very negative impact on the proposed new state of the art hospital on the Mater site.

``It is abundantly clear that the government misled the electorate in the General Election and their much hyped Health Strategy is now in tatters.  Throughout the summer we have seen an daily announcements of cutbacks and seen an increase in the cost of medicines, higher fees for hospital visits and for VHI.

``It is time for the Taoiseach to come clean on what lies in store for Temple Street hospital and to honour his election pledges.''

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