Thursday, 4 July 2019
Ceisteanna ar Reachtaíocht a Gealladh - Questions on Promised Legislation
My question relates to page 58 of the programme for Government and the commitment to improve and expand emergency services. We still have ongoing uncertainty on the future of Portlaoise hospital. On 15 December 2017, along with the other two Deputies for Laois, including the Minister, Deputy Flanagan, who is sitting beside the Minister, Deputy Regina Doherty, I attended a meeting with the Minister for Health. He promised two things at the meeting. The first was to press the pause button on the downgrading of the emergency department at the hospital and the other was to immediately put in place a consultation process. The Dáil will rise next week but 20 months later the facilitator has not been appointed. Difficulties arise at the hospital because of the uncertainty, one of which is recruitment and retention of staff. There is an over-reliance on agency staff.