“The board of the Mercy Hospital has been let down by the Minister, the HSE and this entire Fianna Fáil-led Government.
“What we have is a new €5 million A&E ward at the Mercy Hospital which has been given a closing time of 8pm. This is another clear example of total and utter mismanagement by the HSE which, in essence, has opted for financial cutbacks at the expense of patient care and the delivery of services. It is beyond belief that in this modern Celtic Tiger era a hospital in Ireland is facing a €4.6m deficit and a refusal of the resources it needs to operate a new service.
“The suggestion that an A&E should operate on a part-time basis beggars belief. An emergency service should operate 24 hours a day and be available to the people when they need it most. To close the Mercy A&E at 8 pm and to expect thousands of patients to go to an already overcrowded CUH and South infirmary is absurd.
“Last week in the Seanad I called for Prof. Drumm to account for his decisions in the running of the HSE. I repeat that call again today as there is no evidence within the HSE of accountability or planning, strategic or otherwise.
“On one hand we have capital investment in a new service while, on the other, a message is being sent that there is no money available to operate that service.
“The HSE is losing sight of its mission which is to provide a first class health care system to the people of Ireland. But instead what we have is a body that once again puts fiscal rectitude ahead of patient care.”