Health Ministers comments raise fresh concerns over services at Mayo General Hospital

This week saw a damning HIQA report on maternity services at Portlaoise Hospital. In light of this scathing report, Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar has said services which do not have enough patients to support them will be discontinued at the hospital. Portlaoise maternity services are being amalgamated with the Coomb Women and Infants University Hospital in Dublin as a result of the inquiry.

“The Minister’s comments regarding the potential discontinuation of services at Portlaoise Hospital where there are not enough patients to support them, creates a worrying precedent for Mayo General Hospital. This has re-ignited the fears of the people of Mayo that maternity services in Mayo General could be moved to Galway. The fact that Portlaoise maternity services are being amalgamated with the Coomb Women and Infants University Hospital in Dublin as a result of the inquiry only compounds this fear that maternity services at Mayo General are under renewed threat. This idea has already been rumoured on the very same basis that there are not enough patients in Mayo to support continuing maternity services due to cost and level of service required.” says Chambers.

“Minister Varadkar is clearly outlining his policy that there is a direct correlation between patient numbers and services provided. This is all well and good in large cities but where does that leave rural communities and the people of Mayo? Surely someone in Belmullet or Achill cannot be expected to travel to Galway to give birth? You cannot help but see the similarities between Portlaoise Hospital and Mayo General Hospital. Comparisons are bound to be drawn by the people here in Mayo and any suggestion that these fears are unfounded or that it is scaremongering would be totally unfair.” continues Chambers

“I am calling on An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny to publicly guarantee the continuation of maternity services at Mayo General Hospital and ally the fears of the people of Mayo who depend on this vital service.” says Chambers