Mayo General Hospital
Tuesday, 02 October 2012 11:12
THE funding crisis at Mayo General Hospital has led to a local elected representative tabling an emergency motion ahead of the next meeting of Castlebar Town Council on October 11.
Independent Councillor Michael Kilcoyne is outraged that the centre is being forced to implement ‘savage cuts’ over the remaining three months of the year due to a funding deficit.
The HSE West revealed the hospital had exceeded its financial targets by €5.2 million up to the end of July by spending €42.3 million of its €47.6 million budget. The shortfall reached almost €6 million by the end of August.
The hospital is running at €2.1 million per month over budget and, according to Councillor Kilcoyne, it’s impossible to turn the situation around by the end of the year as the entire allocation for 2012 is expected to be used up within weeks.
He hit out: “I have no doubt that patients will die unnecessarily as a result of the unsympathetic policies being adopted.
“And I am particularly concerned about the future of Mayo General Hospital which is in its most precarious position since its foundation.
“It cannot survive when it is expected to cater for higher numbers of patients with less staff and resources. It’s a crisis point.”
Councillor Kilcoyne explained that patients are being discharged ‘far too early’ due to pressures to achieve savings.
He will seek a suspension of standing orders at the October 11 town council meeting in order to debate the crisis.
“We have to make a stand on behalf of the people of Mayo. It is unacceptable what is happening and I know I will have the support of the majority of elected members. The Fine Gael/Labour Party government is bad for people’s health,” he said.
Other cutbacks introduce at the hospital include the closure of one of its four operating theatres, the shutting down of 10 beds in the orthopaedics department and the conversion of a further 12 surgical beds to day procedures.
All elective admissions and surgery have been cancelled for the remaining 13 weeks of the years.
Councillor Kilcoyne said he was also very disappointing to learn that not one of Mayo’s five representatives on the HSE West Forum spoke out publicly about the situation at the September meeting.
“The argument that ‘all hospitals are in the same boat’ is not justification for not making an issue about the situation at Mayo General Hospital.
“When the Fine Gael party was in opposition, its elected members on the forum tore former health minister Mary Harney to shreds and rightly so,” he added.
* See ‘CRISIS POINT’