Chairman of the Save Navan Hospital Campaign, Peadar Tóibín TD has announced that there will be a Mass Rally in Navan at 1 pm on Saturday the 9th of July.

He told Meath Live, “There is a palpable sense of anger in Meath at the Government and HSE plan to shut down Navan A&E. This is the most important Health infrastructure we have in the county.

‘Already in just over 10 days 12,000 people have signed our petition to reverse the decision to close our A&E. We have also tabled an amendment to the Private Members Bill, ( PMB) that will be debated on the future of Our Lady’s Hospital tomorrow in the Dáil.

‘Our Amendment will strengthen weaknesses in the PMB that have been tabled. Our worry is that even if the PMB is passed it could still allow cover for the A&E to be closed. Our amendment will call for the government to declare that Navan A&E will not be closed. It also calls for the objective in the Small Hospital Framework Document to reduce Our Lady’s Hospital Navan from a Level 3 Hospital to a level 2 Hospital to be deleted once and for all. And our Amendment calls for an increase in investment into Our Lady’s Hospital Navan to restore acute Surgical Services to make our A&E one of the best in Ireland”.

“That the Government would consider closing our A&E at a time when there is record A&E waiting times is incomprehensible. HSE figures show patients in Drogheda A&E are waiting 12 hours or more for the hospital admission. Staff in Connolly Hospital were out on a picket because of overcrowding conditions in their A&E a number of months ago.

‘The Mater Hospital and Mullingar Hospital have asked patients not to arrive at their A&Es due to overcrowding. 546 people were on trollies last week throughout the state. This is the middle of summer. Orthopaedic treatment and elective surgery in Navan had to be suspended over the winter because of the pressure on the A&E in Our Lady’s Hospital, Navan. This was done to free up nursing staff to cover the overcrowding in Navan A&E. Yet the government want to close that same A&E. It beggars belief.

“We are told to have faith in senior HSE management. These are the people who have closed Ennis and Nenagh A&E precipitating the crisis in University Hospital Limerick. Under their stewardship, the number of adverse incidents jumped from 79,000 in 2017 to 105,000 in 2021. That’s a 32 per cent increase in the number of people who have suffered from mistakes in clinical care.  Extreme incidents, which include death or permanent incapacity, rose from 373 in 2017 to 579 last year.

 

‘Many of these are happening because under-resourced staff are under so much pressure. Information that I have received from the Minister for Health through Parliamentary Questions has shown that the closure of Navan A&E would push thousands of patients from a hospital group with a low increase in Adverse Incidents into a hospital group with the highest increase in Adverse Incidents in the country”.

“The HSE proposed replacement for the A&E in Navan Hospital is a GP referral MAU. GP Surgeries close at 6 pm and on weekends. As a result, the MAU cannot be 24 hours as outlined in the HSE. It is extremely difficult to register for a GPs in Meath meaning that thousands of new residents in the county won’t be able to use the MAU and waiting times for a GP appointment can be as long as 2 weeks.

GPs working with the North East Doctor On Call service (NEDOC) have told Our Lady’s Hospital,

Navan that it will not accept the care of patients who would normally have been assessed and managed in a hospital setting. All this means that the vast majority of patients in emergencies will have to circumvent a GP referral MAU and present at Drogheda A&E leading to up to 20,000 extra patients in Drogheda, extra overcrowding and far longer waiting times.

This decision affects everyone as when Hospital A&Es are overcrowded staff are diverted from working on surgery lists to deal with the overcrowding. We have nearly 1 million people on hospital waiting lists. Overcrowding resulting from our A&E closure will lengthen Hospital waiting lists. The Save Navan Hospital Campaign has brought over 50,000 people onto the streets of Meath in previous marches and we are putting the Government TDs are put on notice.  The people of Meath will not tolerate damage being done to our health service”.