Fine Gael’s Dr. Twomey is concerned that County Wexford’s health services are coming under an increasing threat from the HSE.
“We now not only have patients on trolleys at Wexford General Hospital every day but we also have ward closures and our maternity services are under pressure as well. While the transformation programme seems to have stalled for the moment, Wexford people are still fearful of losing out to Waterford and Kilkenny.”
“The latest discussions in relation to health services in the South East, involve the setting up of what is called Integrated Service Areas (ISAs). The plan so far is for Carlow/Kilkenny and Clonmel to form one shared ISA and for Waterford and Wexford to form another. “
Dr. Twomey believes that this approach is completely unsuitable for County Wexford for a number of reasons. “Firstly, with the new motorway, Kilkenny is closer to Waterford than Wexford. Secondly, if Carlow, Kilkenny and South Tipperary become one ISA, their population, at 221,000, is 18,000 less than the combined Wexford / Waterford population. In addition, South Tipperary patients will be able to go to other hospitals in Munster, thus easing the load in this ISA. However amalgamation with Waterford will not work for Wexford as North Wexford people will go to the nearer, but already overcrowded, Dublin hospitals.”
“From a practical medical viewpoint, the number of people that Waterford would be expected to treat would be unworkable. Wexford’s population increases by about 40 to 50,000 during the summer, and it is at the junction for the major road routes from Europe and the UK. So what I believe is required is for Wexford County and parts of Wicklow to be one ISA. This would be far more sustainable in the long term and beneficial to the people of both County Wexford and Wicklow.”
“Unfortunately, the HSE continues to make decisions based on politics and not on the best outcomes for patients and I urge the HSE and the Minister for Health and Children, Mary Harney to look at the patients behind the statistics, before making a final decision on this issue.”
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