[Sinn Fein]

12th June 2003

Crisis level of bed closures needs to be discussed in Dáil - Ó Caoláin

Speaking in the Dáil this morning before Order of Business Sinn Fein Dáil leader Caoimhghin Ó Caoláin called for the urgent discussion of the ``crisis level of bed closures in our public hospitals''.

Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

``There were over 500 beds closed throughout the State this year. Particular attention needs to be paid to the situation at Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children in Crumlin where facilities have been described by a senior member of the medical team as `of east European standards or less'.''

``Children with vulnerable immune systems do not have the necessary separate rooms to avoid infection, communal toilets have been described as unhygenic and up to six children per week in need of chemotherapy are being turned away because of bed shortages,'' he said.

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