[Sinn Fein]

18th December 2002

Ó Caoláin slams further downgrading of Monaghan General Hospital

Caoimhghin Ó Caoláin TD has condemned the further downgrading of Monaghan General Hospital after he learned that it is intended to reduce the number of junior hospital doctors at Monaghan from seven to five beginning on 1 January.

Deputy Ó Caoláin said this was yet another step in the gradual diminution of services at the hospital. Each time a service or post is lost the position is consolidated as the Executive of the North Eastern Health Board attempts to lock the hospital into an irreversible decline , said Deputy Ó Caoláin. It is death by a thousand cuts and it is a despicable way for a public body, supposedly serving the people, to perform.

Citing information which has come into his possession this week Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

I have it on good authority that the General Manager of the Cavan/Monaghan Hospitals, Mr. Kevin Molloy has confirmed this reduction in junior hospital doctor posts. The new configuration will be three house officers and two registrars. Junior doctors will be recruited only up to the level of surgical services consistent with Board policy and not to a level that would allow Monaghan to go back on call for surgical emergencies.

The net effect of this will be diminished services for the users of the hospital. Coming after the loss of accident and emergency, the maternity unit and other services, this latest move confirms the determination of the bureaucrats and the heads of the professional bodies who rule the health services like czars, to advance the downgrading of Monaghan. It is a OEno turning back policy which the people of Co. Monaghan are equally determined to resist.

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