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March 11, 2008

Call For More Beds at Naas General Hospital


Deputy Emmet Stagg and his colleague Jack Wall T.D. raised on the Adjournment Debate in the Dail on Thursday 6th March the decision by the HSE in drawing up their Draft Capital Plan for 2008 to exclude Phase 3C of Naas General Hospital for Capital Funding.

In his address to the Dail Deputy Stagg pointed out that it was Labour when last in Government in 1996 who had sanctioned the Redevelopment of the Hospital and that there had been major improvements at the Hospital since in all aspects of the delivery of health services to the people of Kildare. The final phase of the redevelopment stated Deputy Stagg included the provision of two additional 31 bed wards, additional physiotherapy and occupational services facilities and a catering unit for 255 patients and 800 staff. The project was to commence in 2004, but the Government refused to allow the HSE to seek tenders for the project until 2007. By late 2007 a Tender Report was submitted to the HSE with a recommendation for a preferred contractor. The HSE then decided on 14th February to exclude Phase 3C from their 2008 Draft Capital Plan.

After 4 years of Government promises, including before last years General Election, we now have the project dropped despite the fact that on Monday 3rd March 16 patients were on trolleys in Naas General Hospital, On Tuesday 4th March 31 people were on Trolleys, On Wednesday 5th March 23 people were on Trolleys and on Thursday 6th March 21 people were on Trolley`s. Nobody deserves to be treated in such an undignified manner declared Deputy Stagg. The provision of additional hospital beds under Phase 3C would eliminate the practice and he called on the Minister to change the Draft Capital Plan for 2008 and include the final phase of the redevelopment of Naas General Hospital.

Minister of State Jimmy Devins responded on behalf of the Minister for Health and effectively stated that neither he nor Mary Harney had any say in the matter because it was up to the HSE to prioritise projects based on the HSE`s commitments and priorities.

Reacting to the Minister of State`s response Deputy Stagg stated that the comments were a disgrace and an abdication of responsibility. What in the name of hell are these Minister`s doing in Government if they fail to take seriously their responsibilities to deliver a proper Health Service for the people of Co. Kildare. Instead they want to leave all the blame to the HSE, an unelected and unaccountable body as has been seen in recent days over the disclosure of the Cancer Crisis in Portlaoise.

Deputy Stagg stated that both he and his colleague Jack Wall T.D. would continue their campaign to have Phase 3C included in the Capital Plan for 2008 and would use every means possible to overcome this Government`s ineptitude in the matter.