Thursday, 11 April 2019
Ceisteanna ó Cheannairí - Leaders' Questions
The concern around staffing stems from the fact that the HSE has form in allowing units to be completed and then allowing them to lie vacant for quite considerable lengths of time. We have only to look at Our Lady's Hospital in Cashel, just 15 miles down the road. Some €14 million was spent on that facility, it was in pristine condition, but it has been vacant, with not a bed in it, for the past ten years. Something similar happened in South Tipperary General Hospital in the early 2000s. I am asking the Tánaiste to instruct the HSE to exempt this unit from any staffing freeze and to agree the business case and the staffing proposals from hospital management which have been with the HSE for the past 12 months. This unit must be opened urgently. The hospital is under severe pressure. It is doing excellent work under very difficult circumstances. I welcome the Tánaiste's indication that he will come back to me later today on some of the issues I have raised.