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Paul Healy

Paul Healy

Hospital’s claims on respiratory services disputed

 

 

The local man who first highlighted concerns over respiratory services at Roscommon Hospital is disputing HSE claims that the service is still available at the hospital.

  This week Roscommon Hospital moved to allay fears that respiratory services at the hospital may be closing.

  The hospital confirmed that the vacancy which arose because of the resignation of the permanent Respiratory Consultant almost three years ago has still not been filled.

  In a statement, the hospital went on to say that it had been decided that respiratory patients would continue to be seen by a Consultant Physician at Roscommon University Hospital and referred on to a Consultant in Respiratory Medicine in another hospital, as required.

  The hospital stressed that all respiratory patients should continue to attend their appointments at Roscommon University Hospital as scheduled.

  Castleplunkett resident Henry Hughes, who first highlighted this issue on Shannonside Radio, is not happy with the HSE/hospital response.

  Mr. Hughes says that people with serious respiratory problems will not be treated at Roscommon Hospital and that COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) clinics will not be held there. Alarmed at the HSE stance – which went public earlier this week – Mr. Hughes contacted the Roscommon People.

  “I spoke to a Risk Manager at Roscommon Hospital on Wednesday (yesterday) and she confirmed the position. She said there will be no more clinics for anyone with COPD”.

  Mr. Hughes said that people who have minor respiratory issues will be treated and that all patients with appointments are indeed being advised to attend the hospital. However, he contends, people with serious respiratory problems, on turning up for their appointment, will be told they are not being treated in Roscommon and that they can choose an alternative hospital (at which to be treated).

 

 

Business as usual? What the hospital said

 

In correspondence to Deputy Eugene Murphy, Mary Garvey, General Manager of Roscommon University Hospital, wrote: “In January 2016 the permanent Respiratory Consultant in Roscommon University Hospital resigned. The respiratory service continued with a locum consultant while efforts to recruit a permanent replacement were ongoing. Unfortunately the post did not attract any suitable candidates.

  “It was decided that respiratory patients would continue to be seen by a Consultant Physician at Roscommon University Hospital and referred on to a Consultant in Respiratory Medicine in another hospital, as required.

  “Roscommon University Hospital has a specialist respiratory nurse who works closely with the Consultant Physicians in Roscommon and the Consultant in Respiratory Medicine in Portiuncula University Hospital in managing these patients according to their clinical needs.

  “All respiratory patients should continue to attend their appointments at Roscommon University Hospital as scheduled”.

  Deputy Murphy noted the reply, stating that the response points out that the hospital has been unable to fill the permanent respiratory consultant post following the resignation of the consultant in January 2016.

  This, he said, opens up a bigger question as to problems attracting and retaining consultant posts in hospital such as Roscommon.

  Deputy Murphy said that it would appear from the hospital statement that respiratory services are still available at Roscommon and patients are being referred on to a consultant in respiratory medicine in another hospital as required.

 

 

 

 

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Bord na Mona blow: Murphy calls for €250m fund

 

 

 

Fianna Fáil TD Eugene Murphy says that a €250m deal which was put in place to support the Spanish coal-mining industry is exactly the type of initiative that’s needed in the Midlands in light of Bord na Mona’s decision to transition away from its reliance on peat-harvesting based employment.



  Last week, Spain’s new Government secured agreement between management, unions and other stakeholders for a €250 million deal that will see investment in Spain’s northern Asturias, Aragón, and Castilla y León regions and support for miners who may see their employment end.



  “The Spanish situation is very similar to that of the Midlands here” said Deputy Murphy. “The numbers losing their jobs in Spain is estimated at just over 600. The expected Bord na Móna direct job losses is in the same range with a similar number of indirect jobs in the region expected to be lost.
The agreement in Spain demonstrates that it is possible to make progress on the Paris 2020 targets but without wholescale damage to communities and regions”.



  Deputy Murphy claimed that his party has the solution.  “Fianna Fáil’s proposal for a Sustainable Transition Forum, underpinned by funding from the EU’s Globalisation Fund, is exactly what the Midlands needs to allow it move away from its dependency on jobs associated with peat harvesting”.



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Call for hospital parking charges to be abolished

 

 

Former county councillor Tom Crosby, a declared Independent candidate in next year’s local elections, has backed calls from the Irish Cancer Society for hospital car parking charges to be abolished.

  This follows recent claims that some cancer patients are paying up to €63 a week for parking on hospital grounds.

  Mr. Crosby acknowledged that the hospitals in Roscommon and Ballinasloe Hospital offer free parking, but he said the issue of charges is very contentious elsewhere.

  “In Mullingar and Portlaoise hospitals, a visitor or patient can park for free for 30 minutes – but Mullingar charges €1.50 for the 30 minutes after that, while in Portlaoise there is a €3 flat fee after the free period elapses”.

  Mr. Crosby said that public hospitals have collected almost €13 million in a year in parking charges. He said that maximum charges for parking for a full day range from €3 to €15 and that there are currently no national guidelines governing charges for parking.

  He is now calling on the HSE to carry out a review of hospital car parking charges and to engage with the Irish Cancer Society and other patient advocacy groups.

  “This should happen without delay and they should ensure that such a review takes account of the circumstances of patients, particularly those who require long-term care, all with a view to establishing clear guidelines on this sensitive issue as a matter of urgency”.

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Roscommon jobless figures fall again – Feighan

 

Fine Gael Senator Frank Feighan has said that the Live Register is continuing to decline in County Roscommon at a time of “record unemployment figures nationally”.

  “The CSO has reported that the monthly unemployment rate has dropped consistently over the past year and has now fallen to 5.3%, as of October 2018. There are now about 29,000 fewer people out of work in Ireland compared to October 2017 and it is almost eleven years since the unemployment rate was so low.

  “Roscommon is benefitting as the CSO also reports consistent decline in the Live Register figures showing the number of persons on the Live Register in October 2018 is at its lowest number since May 2008”.

  Senator Feighan added: “The Live Register has declined by 16% on an annual basis and by 55% since Fine Gael launched the first Action Plan for Jobs in February 2012. In Roscommon, the number of people on the Live Register has declined by 47% since Fine Gael launched its Action Plan for Jobs in 2012”.

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