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Minister Reilly Niall Carson/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Downsizing of small hospitals 'not yet agreed', says Reilly

The Health Minister insisted plans to reduce services at regional hospitals are still “being discussed”.

MORE SERVICE DOWNGRADES at smaller regional hospitals may be on the way – but the measures have not yet been agreed by Government, according to Health Minister Dr James Reilly.

Minister Reilly told the Irish Medical News that plans to concentrate services at larger hospitals, which were set out last year, have not been signed off by the Fine Gael/Labour coalition. However, he added the measures are “being discussed at the moment”.

The proposals were made in last year’s Acute Medical Programme, which divides hospitals across the country into categories by size. Each category will have a number of services assigned to it, with the effect being that certain facilities are available in larger hospitals only.

Minister Reilly added that other changes to health services are “off the table” for the moment. “Some of them may come back on,” he said.

But other plans around reducing services in the smaller hospitals and reducing surgeries etc, that has not been agreed by me or signed off by me and won’t be until there’s been full and proper consultation with the staff and the clinical leads in this area to see what way we can get the best use out of our smaller county and regional hospitals.

The news comes amid further protests today over the closure of A&E facilities at Roscommon hospital, which has sparked anger among local residents.

Read Paul Mulholland and Danielle Barron’s full story in the Irish Medical News here >

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