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

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.