Fine Gael TD Frank Feighan has hit back at his former colleague Denis Naughten over the latter’s claims in last week’s Roscommon People that the expanded endoscopy service at Roscommon County Hospital is set to be delayed by a new staff recruitment ban by the HSE.
Rejecting Deputy Naughten’s comments, Deputy Feighan welcomed what he called Roscommon Hospital’s “move to quash speculation that the €3m Endoscopy suite planned for the hospital will be hindered in any way.”
In a direct rebuttal of the now Independent Deputy Naughten – his former party colleague – Deputy Feighan said: “Spreading unhelpful and baseless speculation about a flagship project planned for Roscommon Hospital is unfortunate.
“However, to put an end to this unnecessary confusion, I welcome the move by the Roscommon Hospital General Manager, Elaine Prendergast, to confirm that the HSE’s recruitment pause will not impact on plans for this key service.
“Work on this major project is progressing extremely well with the immediate target of having a design team fully in place in August.
“This is the flagship project for the hospital and will be a significant leader in the targeted four fold increase in activity at the hospital.
“Of course, there is a range of other new service developments in operation or being planned for Roscommon. They include sleep studies, urology services and plastic and reconstructive surgery along with active plans for a Hospice and Medical Rehabilitation Service on the grounds of the hospital.
“Unfortunately, those questioning some of these hospital developments are indirectly undermining the great work being done behind the scenes by consultants and staff alike to ensure Roscommon Hospital has a long-term future,” concluded Deputy Feighan.
In a press release issue this week, Elaine Prendergast, General Manager at Roscommon Hospital commented: “The expansion of the Endoscopy Service at the hospital is a significant development and part of our plan to develop local excellence at this hospital. I’m happy to confirm that the recruitment pause will not impact on our plans for this service.
“The expansion of the Endoscopy Service at Roscommon is a key component in meeting the Department of Health’s Special Delivery Unit target for inpatient waiting lists which is a maximum of 13 weeks waiting time for scopes.
Tony Canavan, Chief Operating Officer, Galway and Roscommon University Hospital Group commented: “In January, the Hospital Group had 9,901 patients who would potentially breach the target of waiting longer than 9 months if they were not seen by the target date of 30 September and as of 19 July we have reduced this number to 2,659.
“The expansion of the Endoscopy Service significantly increases the contribution that Roscommon Hospital makes to the overall success of the Group. Of the 2,659 patients still on the inpatient waiting list, around 1,100 are waiting for routine scopes.
“The situation for urgent scopes is different; patients who require urgent scopes are seen within four weeks and are not part of this waiting list.”
Issue dated: 03 August 2012
© Roscommon People