Speaking in advance of a significant protest that has been organised by the Save Navan Hospital Campaign this Friday, their Cathaoirleach Peadar Tóibín TD has told Meath Live that next Friday’s march in Kells is of huge importance.
He said, “The Sunday Business Post has reported that the Chief Executive of the HSE, Paul Reid has stated in a letter that the paper FOIed, that he felt “frustrations” with feeling “constrained” in the HSE’s ability to take actions. This does not come as a surprise as Paul Reid tendered his resignation the morning after he went on the “This Week” show on RTE Radio 1 and rebuked publicly the Minister for Health, saying he was wrong in seeking a pause in the closure of Navan A&E and that we the HSE would proceed to close Navan A&E despite the Minister’s call”.
“It is startling that Paul Reid would choose, potentially, to resign on an inability to close A&E capacity in the middle of an A&E capacity crisis and not on the basis of 1.3 million people on hospital waiting lists, record A&E waiting times, the crisis in Cervical Check, the Kerry Camhs report, the lack of Cyber attack preparation, the shutting down of Cancer services during Covid, the collapse in the number of GPs, the absence of hundreds of Consultants, the unaccounted €71 million, the €2 billion overspend this year or the dire state of the Mental Health services in Ireland”.
“All we have asked for in this campaign is a feasibility study into the safe functioning of Navan A&E into the future to service the 220,000 people who live in Meath. At the very least before a decision is made, a cost benefit analysis should be carried out to empirically work out what is the best decision for patients. We know that waiting times are off the scale in the region. The hospitals surrounding us are regularly advising patients not to present at A&E because they are so full. We know that 23 Hospital Consultants in Drogheda said that it would be a threat to the health of the people to proceed with the closure of Navan A&E”.
“We will again take to the streets this Friday. This time in Kells, starting at the HSE Primary Care Centre on the Navan Road at 1pm and proceeding to the HSE Offices on Bective Street Kells. The march will be proceeded by a number of funeral hearses to symbolically draw attention to the fact that this is a life and death issue for us”.
“This march will take place in the constituency of the Minister for Justice Helen McEntee and the Junior Minister for European Affairs Tomas Byrne. These two ministers are key decision makers on this issue and they could ensure that a feasibility study is carried out into the safest option for patients. People power has kept our hospital A&E open until now. Navan A&E has saved thousands of lives. It has never been as busy. This day last week 95 patients presented to Navan A&E. If it closes more than half of this figure will have to join queues in Drogheda A&E and this region will repeat the catastrophe that happened in Limerick University Hospital”.
“We are asking businesses to allow workers an extended lunch breaks so that they can attend the rally. We are asking sports clubs, community groups, the Trade Unions, the political parties, the churches, farming organisations and businesses to mobilise their members in order to send the strongest message possible to the government that we are not going to accept closure. The people of Meath will not be beat”.