Cathaoirleach of the the Save Navan Hospital Campaign, Peadar Tóibín TD, has submitted parliamentary questions to the Minister for Health on the emerging news that the HSE seeks to prevent the Ambulance Service bringing patients from Meath to Our Lady’s Hospital A&E in Navan and to bring them instead to Our Lady of Lourdes A&E in Drogheda from the 15th of December this year.
He told Meath Live, “This is scandalous news. It is absolutely incredible that at the height of the winter surge on our A&Es, when pressure on Navan and Drogheda A&Es is literately out the door, when corridors are full of patients for the lack of capacity and space and when staff are leaving Ireland because of the pressure that they are under, that the HSE would seek to redirect Ambulances from Navan to Drogheda. This would have the effect of part closing the A&E in Navan as it would significantly reduce throughput of patients in Navan. It would also leave Drogheada A&E under intolerable pressure”.
“This decision is in keeping with the plan that the HSE had at the start of this year. They were forced to bin their 30th of June closure date in large part due to the campaign led by the Save Navan Hospital Campaign and the outright opposition of senior clinicians working at the coal face of Drogheda Hospital who stated that closure would be a threat to life and health of patients. I understand the plan to stop ambulances bring patients to Navan HSE is also opposed by senior clinicians in Drogheda for the same threat to life and health reasons as before”.
“We understand the Ambulance divert plan is timed to coincide with the cabinet reshuffle and the potential move of Stephen Donnelly out of the department and before any new Minister gets time to get his or her feet under the ministerial desk. If this is the case, its a deeply cynical anti democratic move and the Minister for Health must publicly put a stop to it now.
The long term solution to the pressure on the A&E sector and the provision of health care to the 220,000 people who live in Meath is the proper funding of Consultant cover in Navan A&E so it can add to the badly needed capacity in the region. If the HSE proceed, we will have no option but to challenge the action on the streets and in the courts”.