Dáil debates

Wednesday, 26 April 2006

1:00 pm

Paudge Connolly (Cavan-Monaghan, Independent)

I thank the Tánaiste for her response. The major decision to remove paediatric admissions from Dundalk, Navan and Monaghan hospitals, which was implemented on 10 April, should have been discussed at forum level. The forum members should have been given the opportunity to make representations or observations prior to a service being removed. It is any parent's nightmare to be forced to drive past Dundalk, Navan or Monaghan hospital with a critically ill child, suffering from an asthmatic attack, meningitis, an epileptic seizure or choking. The forum members should have been able to discuss the matter and give assurances to people that these children would be looked after if they were taken to the nearest hospital, where they could be stabilised. If necessary, they could subsequently be transferred. There is no point in the next meeting of the forum discussing or making an observation on a decision that has already been taken. From the executive's point of view it would be somewhat like a thunderstorm, something that will pass after an hour or two and the air will clear afterwards. This is why I believe these new fora——


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