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Calls made for end to cuts at Navan Hospital

Sinn Féin’s Peadar Toibín told TheJournal.ie that they are calling for services to be retained and cuts to be stopped

The crowd at the rally
The crowd at the rally
Image: CommonsLaneFilms via YouTube

AROUND 6,000 PEOPLE attended a rally in Navan at the weekend calling for an end to cuts at Navan Hospital.

The “Monster Rally” was held to call on the government to reverse cuts at the hospital where beds have been closed, operating theatre hours have decreased, and all agency staff are to go by the start of next month.

Prior to the rally, Sinn Féin TD Peadar Tóibín said the major cuts to the hospitals in the Louth-Meath area over the past 33 months are proving dangerous to patient safety. Speaking to TheJournal.ie today, Tóibin said that the organisers were delighted with the turn out, and there were over 6,000 in attendance at the rally.

“It was one of the biggest rallies that Meath has ever seen,” he said. “It was fully supported by all the community groups.”

However, he noted: “We had only one government TD out of five there.”

He said that there have been “literally hundreds of staff taken out”of the hospital, including emergency staff who have not been replaced. The Government is looking to take the emergency department and move it to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda, which is already under severe pressure, he added.

Reductions

According to Tóibín, the organisers of the rally and over 100 doctors have signed a letter to say they don’t believe Drogheda will ever have the capacity to deal with the amount of people who would be sent there from Meath.

We are asking for a reversal of cuts. We are asking for commitment, not reduction of emergency department [services] until another hospital is built.

He said the government is to release its small hospital framework to the public in two – four weeks, which will give information on the infrastructure of hospital cuts. He said that they want to make sure that when the document is being created, the voices of people in Meath are being heard.

Tóibin added that there is an “element of accountability there”, if some TDs got elected “on the back of commitments towards the hospital”.

Speaking at the rally, Fianna Fáil Cllr Shane Cassells said the people of Navan won’t stand for any more cuts to services at Our Lady’s Hospital. “The people of Navan are fed up with the broken promises of this Government,” said Cllr Cassells.

Save Navan Hospital Committee delivered 40,000 leaflets and raised over €5,000 in advance of the rally.

(CommonsLaneFilms/YouTube)

Read: Thousands expected to take to the streets in support of Navan Hospital>

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