Minister for Health Visits Clonakilty Hospital

Dr. James Reilly Minister for Health stressed the need for further exploration of the options available to management on his recent visit to Clonakilty Community Hospital. Minister Reilly visited the hospital as part of a review of the recent decision of the HSE to close sixteen beds at the facility. The HSE service plan for 2011 identified 16 beds to be closed at the hospital causing a public outcry among locals, staff and public representatives in the area. The decision prompted the formation of a local hospital action committee to organise public protests against the planned closures at the facility.

Newly elected TD for the area, Jim Daly requested Minister Reilly to visit the Hospital as part of the Minister’s review of the proposed bed closures at the Hospital. The Minister visited Mount Carmel hospital and toured the wards before meeting with management to discuss the background to the decision to close beds at the Hospital. The Ministerial visit was low key in an attempt to ensure adequate opportunity for Minister Reilly to view first hand the service being provided by the Matron and staff at Mount Carmel Hospital according to Deputy Jim Daly. “I am very pleased that Minister Reilly found time so early during his tenure at the Department of Health to visit Clonakilty Community Hospital. The visit happened without any advance notice or fanfare to ensure adequate time was given to the issue under examination i.e the decision to close sixteen beds. The Minister specifically requested a low key visit to allow for appropriate consideration and discussion of the challenges facing the Hospital.” stated Deputy Daly.

The Minister has confirmed his intention to meet the local Hospital Action Group in the coming weeks in order to ensure every side gets a fair hearing before a decision is made on the matter. This assurance was given to the chairperson of the Local Action Group Cllr. Kevin O’ Regan who is also the Mayor of Clonakilty.