Fianna Fáil TD for Meath East, Thomas Byrne has conceded that HSE officials have concerns over the A&E department in Navan hospital.
Speaking on LMFM’s Michael Reade show, Byrne also said that health minister Stephen Donnelly, has called a halt to proposals to close the department, suggestions which have sparked off tomorrow’s street protest in the town, but crucially added the halt was only in place until Donnelly gets to meet HSE top brass.
In a debate with protest organiser, Peadar Tóibín, Byrne stated, ‘ The minister has said he has called a halt to this until he meets with the HSE and sees exactly what they want to do and hears their concerns.
‘The HSE have concerns, I can’t deny that, but when that meeting takes place all elected representatives will meet the minister and see what the safest and best solutions to the issue are.’
The Minister for European Affairs repeatedly refused to say whether he would support the closure of the department if it was put to him that this was the safest and best option.
Unlike his coalition colleague, Damien English, Byrne expects to be in attendance at the march,
He said, ‘I hope to be in Navan meeting the people as politicians that is what we do.’
Meanwhile, Tóibín revealed that in a recent Dáil exchange, Green party leader Eamonn Ryan had told him ‘The best thing for Navan is to lose its A&E, he made the case for that happening.’