[Sinn Fein]

29th April 2003

Ferris Calls for Public Support for Hospital Services in Tralee

Sinn Fein TD for North Kerry, Martin Ferris, has called for public support for the services being provided at the Maternity Unit in Tralee General Hospital. Deputy Ferris made his call following a public meeting in Tralee last night organised by the Kerry Women s Forum. The meeting highlighted the current level of services being provided at the Maternity Unit in Tralee General Hospital and it also outlined what could be done to ensure that services in Kerry would not only be retained but will be improved.

Deputy Ferris said;

"What we need now is a concentrated effort by everyone who has an interest in our Health services in Kerry, to ensure that the people of this county are informed that we have an excellent service at our Maternity Unit in Tralee. At the moment, as Dr. Mary McCaffrey pointed out, there are between 3 and 4 hundred women from Kerry going to Cork every year to have their babies delivered. In most cases, if they knew of the excellent quality of service at the Maternity Unit in Tralee they would opt to stay in Kerry.

"In spite of rumours that certain hospitals around the country, including Tralee, could lose their Maternity Units, it is my belief that we can hold onto our maternity service if there is increased public awareness about the current level of service being provided and the consequences to all of us if we lose our Maternity Unit. While our public representatives and the media have a big role to play in this, I believe that ultimately, it is the ordinary people who can play the biggest role.

"I am now calling on everybody in Kerry to come to Tralee for a public rally being organised by the Kerry Women s Forum on Saturday, May 10th (Originally May 5th) to show their support for their Hospital and to let this government know how much it means to us and that any further cutbacks will not be tolerated.

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