THE Minister for State at the Department for Health, Jim Daly. will not downgrade Belmullet District Hospital.
The news has been confirmed this evening by Michael Ring, the Minister for Rural and Community Development.
He said that Jim Daly, Minister for Mental Health and Older People, has told him in person that there will be no downgrading of Belmullet District Hospital under his watch.
Minister Ring elaborated: “Minister Daly has confirmed to me personally that there is no question of Belmullet Hospital being downgraded.
"At my invitation Minister Daly has committed to visiting the hospital on July 2 to personally assess the situation and to talk to patients and staff.
“Minister Daly has also confirmed to me that he has asked the HSE to provide him with the bed occupancy rates for the last 12 months. There is no question of beds being cut if they are being used.
"If the demand is there, the beds will be kept open and the staff will be allocated to staff the beds. However, as Minister Daly stated in Dáil Éireann today, he will not stand over staff being allocated to empty beds.
“I am confident that Minister Daly will look at all options and keep an open mind in order to ensure a positive resolution of this matter.
"I have worked closely with Councillor Gerry Coyle on this issue and we will continue to work with Minister Daly to ensure that Belmullet Hospital continues to provide an excellent service to the people of Erris.”