17 May 2023
By Tom Collins
Independent TD for Cork South-West Michael Collins has called out the failure of Government to deliver increased and better coordinated levels of medical and mental health care to patients served by Bantry General Hospital and the attached Mental Health unit.
Deputy Collins was speaking during a Dáil debate on Targeted Investment in the Health Service and the extension of Medical Assessment Units (MAUs) and Local Injury Units (LIUs) in smaller hospitals:
“We know for a fact that more than 12,000 patients were without a bed in 2022 in Cork University Hospital (CUH) due to overcrowding. Very many of those patients could have and should have been treated in Bantry General Hospital but instead they were forced to bypass Bantry and essentially contribute to a bottleneck of patients building up in CUH,” said Deputy Collins.
“That makes no sense whatsoever particularly when you consider the capacity of Bantry General to provide for routine or low care procedures.”
“Minister Mary Butler talked today however about how the Department of Health is continuing to engage with the HSE to ensure delivery on the construction of new elective hospitals in Cork, Dublin and Galway.”
“While this may be positive in the long term, the fact remains that these new elective hospitals are only expected to commence providing care by the end of 2027, as the Minister stated.”
“In the intervening period however, hospitals like Bantry will continue to be under-resourced and under-utilised while simultaneously promise after promise to provide endoscopy and stroke services will likely go unrealised.”
“As I said today; if there was a block laid for every political promise of improved services we have received to date we would have five endoscopy units built. We need more than warm words and empty commitments. We need delivery for both our acute and our mental health services that are being hollowed out on a daily basis,” Deputy Collins concluded.