A return of paediatric orthopaedic surgery to Cork is welcome but genuine concerns over the reconfiguration of medical services across Cork city need to be addressed, according to Fine Gael Cork South Central Deputy, Jerry Buttimer.
“The announcement of the closure of the A&E unit at South Infirmary Victoria University Hospital (SIVUH) has given rise to genuine concerns regarding access to Emergency Departments in Cork city. The HSE needs to outline the exact timelines involved in the reconfiguration. Independent verification of the HSE claims that changes will result in improved delivery of services is also essential. I am calling on HIQA to get involved in this process.
“It is vital that during the roll-out of new services that everyone works together to minimise the impact on existing services. The precise timetable for the roll-out of the new and improved services must be outlined and I have requested clarification on this issue from the HSE. We need to know when the regional pain management service will be opened at SIVUH, when cardiology services will transfer to CUH, when the Urgent Care Centre will open in St. Mary’s and when the assessment units will open in CUH.
“The return of paediatric orthopaedic surgery to Cork has to be welcomed, as it means an end to long journeys to Dublin for sick children.
“As Chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children, I am all too aware that public confidence in the reconfiguration programme has been shaken over the last number of years. However, if these changes are handled properly and communicated clearly, confidence in the ability of the HSE to reconfigure health services can be restored. It is vital that during the roll-out of new services that everyone works together to minimise the impact on existing services.”