Minister Denis Naughten says the HSE has provided reassurances over the future of the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea. Deputy Eugene Murphy is giving him and the HSE the benefit of the doubt. Senator Maura Hopkins says she’s far from convinced, and I’m inclined to share her scepticism.
I’ve read enough HSE (and political) statements over the years to advise that the correspondence sent by the HSE to Minister Jim Daly should only be consumed if there’s a significant dose of salt on stand-by.
It’s classic ‘commit to nothing’ stuff and in my opinion it by no means offers reassurance to Rosalie residents and their families.
The HSE’s Tony Canavan begins by informing Minister Daly that a Clinical Assessment process which is currently underway is expected to be completed shortly. He adds that engagement between the HSE and local stakeholders should be maximised in the meantime. The above statement offers no reassurance to anyone.
Mr. Canavan goes on to say that no decision will be taken in relation to the Rosalie Unit until ongoing assessments have been completed and reviewed.
That part of the statement should also be read with the pinch of salt nearby.
Mr. Canavan does say that it is intended that the Rosalie facility will continue to form part of the service delivery of healthcare in the Roscommon area – but he does not rule out change, adding: “if any change should arise from its current use, it will be done in consultation with public representatives and relevant stakeholders for the area”.
I’ve read a lot of HSE (and political) statements over the years – I fear that this correspondence from Mr. Canavan provides no grounds for optimism about the future of the Rosalie Unit.
Hopefully my assessment about the HSE’s assessment is wrong!
Having made this rather negative assessment, I will add that political will could yet save the facility.
In this matter we have the usual ‘which comes first, HSE or Government?’ codology, with the public led on a merry dance. Sure, the HSE runs the health service, but surely the minister of the day and his or her Department has the real power?
There is an onus on Minister Naughten and Senators Hopkins and Frank Feighan, and opposition politicians of course, to continue to fight the good fight for the future of this facility.