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Protestors call on Minister to reopen Bantry Hospital for new admissions

The facility in west Cork was closed due to a lack of consultants.

PROTESTS BY THE Irish Nurses and Midwifes Organisation (INMO) and local activists were held today at Bantry Hospital to call on the Government to allow new admissions at the facility. 

The hospital was forced to scale back services and close to new admissions due to an shortage of hospital consultants.

The INMO is calling for urgent recruitment of locum and permanent consultants to reopen the hospital. The organisation said that the closure is causing patients to be diverted to other over stretched hospitals in Kerry and Cork city.

Deputy Michael Collins and other local representatives also protested and called on the Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly to intervene. 

“I am shocked, angry and disappointed that previous governments and this government continue to ignore their promises and commitments surrounding Bantry Hospital.

“I have always stated that Bantry General Hospital is a red-line issue for me. I would not support a government which would not honour its commitments on Bantry General Hospital.

‘The failure to fill medical posts in Bantry General Hospital since 2018  is extremely worrying and directly led to the cancellation of patients being admitted to Bantry General Hospital since 27 July.

“This is a totally unacceptable and worrying situation for the people of West Cork. I have called on the Minister for Health and the HSE to ensure that the admission of patients commences immediately again in Bantry Hospital,” he said.

Liam Conway, INMO Industrial Relations Officer said the situation “demands urgent action”.

“Bantry General is a pivotal hospital for the area. Patients across west Cork deserve better, and this closure is unfairly putting extra pressure on nearby hospitals.

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“The South/Southwest Hospital Group needs to find immediate consultant cover to get services back running.

“Frontline INMO members are seriously concerned for what this means for west Cork patients. They are also concerned about their situation as workers in an essentially closed-off hospital.

“INMO reps will be attending a protest on Sunday – we hope to see real action on this before then,” he said. 

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