Independent Media Centre Ireland

Reverse the cutbacks in Kerry General Hospital services

category kerry | health / disability issues | press release author Saturday December 22, 2007 22:02author by sean moraghan - People B4 Profit Alliance/Kerryauthor email earthsoulrocknroll at gmail dot com

Suport the Candlelight Vigil at KGH Sunday 23d @2PM

Cancer Services in Kerry General Hospital are to be removed and relocated to Cork. There will supposedly be a better system of care there under one of several national ‘centres of excellence’.
But that means that patients from Kerry could have a two-hour trip each way (or longer) to access treatment. That is in direct contradiction to the HSE’s statements that care of patients should be given as close to their homes as possible, and that there should be a greater emphasis on delivery of care in the local community.
Long trips on top of treatments and trauma can hardly constitute excellent care.

Long trips on top of treatments and trauma can hardly constitute excellent care. Those kind of journeys have already been described as “purgatory” by Cromane woman Margaret O’Sullivan. She is part of a women’s group that sent letters to South Kerry TDs and Kerry County Councillors protesting the removal of Kerry’s cancer services.

Kerry TDs are playing a dishonest game saying they oppose the removal of services while still supporting the Government parties, and supposedly, the Centre of Excellence policy -- at the same time! They want it both ways

Tom McEllistrim of Fianna Fail claims “Tralee is providing a great service. They can’t be removing services”. Jackie Healy-Rae declares “We’re far enough from everything already.”

Faced with public pressure in Kerry they have to pretend they’re not part of the government or not really supporting it!

The number of Kerry patients presenting with malignant cancers in 2001 (the last year in which figures were available) was 522. Breast cancer was the diagnosis in most of the women, prostate cancer the most common among the men. Estimates of future years’ cases are expected to rise.

KGH has only recently provided a comprehensive breast-check facility. It still has no diabetic consultant, renal treatment and a significantly under-resourced cardiology unit while the service which provides x-rays of blood vessels was actually closed down more than two years ago. The lack of investment in these and many other basic services at KGH means patients ALREADY have to travel to Cork to be treated. While there is a proposal that the hospital’s A&E unit will be extended, without any extra investment particularly in staff the unit will still continue to function in a state of chaos. 200 nurses held a dignified and silent protest as Minister Mary Harney arrived at the hospital to open a unit earlier this year.

We say: Reverse the Removal of Services
We say: Free Quality Healthcare for All Communities
No to privatisation or a ‘two-tier’ health system. And for a comprehensive national health service which treats people according to medical need and not money.
People Before Profit Alliance/Kerry

*Supporting grass-roots resistance to removal of services*
**Supporting the CANDLELIGHT VIGIL at Kerry General Hospital, Sunday 23d at 2PM

Comments (8 of 8)

Jump To Comment: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
author by C Murraypublication date Sun Dec 23, 2007 20:21author address author phone

I know many who support this , who live in the area. There were problems with maternity also
and many women travelled to the Erinville or Bons in Cork to have their babies, which was
an eighty mile plus drive over the Cork and Kerry mountains, and not fun when in Labour.

I do not know if the maternity issue has resolved , but having done the journey to Cork
it is not recommendable, it is tiring- even on a train. To do that in the event of a
prognosis of cancer and with aggressive radiation treatments is not something that
people should have to put up with.

There are groups in Sligo and the St Luke's Hospital also who are fighting this.

Good Luck and Solidarity. I was at St Luke's protest, it was freezing= wrap up warm!

author by Scepticpublication date Mon Dec 24, 2007 14:23author address author phone


But this is only for services that can be delivered locally without a diminution in quality. What point very convenient local services with very high fatality and morbidity rates? In this day and age only centralization can ensure adequate quality in areas like cancer and maternity. It is not a case of discriminating against Kerry. Even someone in the greater Dublin area could easily have a near enough two-hour trip to a centre and for someone near Rathdrum it would be a lot longer. Also don’t be too swayed by nurses’ protests, silent or otherwise. Not only are they a vested interest but the INO’s record on many issues in the last decade is suspect. The judgment of the leadership of the INO is questionable.

author by local electionspublication date Mon Dec 24, 2007 18:13author address author phone

The above comment was designed to irritate, which is what Skeptic does. Its a hobby thing.

The Locals are coming in 2009 and FF are scared because Bertie's hobby horse (Mary Harney)
failed. FF do elections, so a concerted effort to ensure that they feel the sting of a dublin-based
self-congragulatory HSE and State machinery based in spin and dishonesty should be
put in place.

St Luke's.
Lack of services in the North-West

all these issues of local expendidture for local people should be brought quite home
otherwise people will die. 80 miles over the Cork and Kerry mountains is too far
for sick people to travel. now someone is profiting from centralisation and giving themselves
huge pay increases- one of them is Niamh Brennan who is on the board and is of course
married to ex-Minister Mc Dowell.

author by Scepticpublication date Thu Dec 27, 2007 13:04author address author phone

My comments are designed to inform not to irritate but some people find facts inconvenient and therefore get irritated.


It is better to travel home from a hospital over 80 miles if one is alive and well recovered than to have a conveniently short trip home from a local hospital in a box. Doubtless it would be more convenient to the local funeral home however. Using the political process to keep unviable local services open will result in more deaths. This is the blunt reality.

author by ex-patpublication date Thu Dec 27, 2007 20:12author address author phone

"It is better to travel home from a hospital over 80 miles if one is alive and well recovered than to have a conveniently short trip home from a local hospital in a box. Doubtless it would be more convenient to the local funeral home however. Using the political process to keep unviable local services open will result in more deaths. This is the blunt reality. "

Dear sceptic you have pre-supposed that a Cancer patient travels to a hospital receives treatment and travels back again when well - Wrong!

When in actual fact the 'blunt reality' is that there are frequent trips to be made by patients to recieve a series of treatment. And it is that the Kerry folk are quite rightly complaining about.

author by Scepticpublication date Sat Dec 29, 2007 11:28author address author phone

I am not necessarily presupposing an in-patient stay. Outcomes are also better in centres of excellence for day treatments. Unfortunately not everyone lives within a short distance of these but their outcomes will be better. The Irish health system has been bedevilled for decades by localism in the health services. One could go back to the Fitzgerald report of 1968. People are being deceived by activists who tell them to support a local hospital or vote for a hospital candidate when in fact it is not in their best health interests at all. All too often there are vested interests at play too. For instance employees of the local facilities agitating against change on the name of health services but in fact in their own sectional and personal interests.

author by in patientpublication date Sat Dec 29, 2007 15:34author address author phone

The ICA organised the protest and true left leaders follow the will of the people.

Indeed we would not be in this mess if a pack of jackeens interested in profit had not
taken their tiny minds off the ball and given people what they require and that is local
services for local taxes-

People are not stupid- the iCA probably know more about local electoral politics and
need than anyone and you are patronising them in the extreme by assuming that
women are sheep led by some male politician.

author by Scepticpublication date Sun Dec 30, 2007 18:45author address author phone

It is not an issue that divides the sexes nor town and country despite your efforts to be divisive. Nor is it anything to do with left v right. It is an objective and empirical calculation of what arrangements yield best health outcomes. Despite the worthiness of the ICA in many respects they are not inerrant on this issue.

Indymedia Ireland is a media collective. We are independent volunteer citizen journalists producing and distributing the authentic voices of the people. Indymedia Ireland is an open news project where anyone can post their own news, comment, videos or photos about Ireland or related matters.