[Sinn Fein]

22nd January 1999

Cuts Sinking Flagship Hospital

Sinn Fein's candidiate for Dublin in the EU elections, Seán Crowe has described the proposed cuts at the new Tallaght `flagship' hospital ``as scandalous''. Speaking after a meeting with the Tallaght Hospital Action Group and local representatives, he said that `` People were playing not only politics with the hospital, but with patients lives.'' The attempts he claimed to cut existing services, were in direct contravention of the Charter of the three merged hospitals that make up Tallaght. Crowe also urged the Action Group to investigate the possibility of legal action being taken against the Minister and the Department of Health.

Mr Crowe said:

``The proposed cutbacks in Tallaght Hospital in paediatric surgery , paediatric haematology and the children's Accident and Emergency, has left this community seething with anger.The cuts being experienced in Tallaght and this latest proposal to undermine and eventually wind down the children's and adolescent services , is killing the morale of staff and patients.The quarter of a million people living in the catchment area of this hospital, have a right to know why this modern hospital is being run down.

``Why are hospitals strapped for cash when we have had a bumper windfall in tax, the highest ever in the history of this state. Why are people sleeping on trolleys in our major hospitals when wards are closing ? How would Brian Cowan feel if it was a member of his family that was ill and needed urgent treatment ? The Minister for Health needs to give the people of Tallaght some answers.'' ENDS

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