Minister Kathleen Lynch has declined offers to meet ‘Save Our St. Joseph’s’ Community Hospital Campaigners, claiming the responsibility was with the HSE on this matter.
She was responding to Independent TD Thomas Pringle’s call to meet with concerned residents regarding the downgrading of St. Joseph’s Community Hospital.
“The Minister said she was booked up for the rest of the Election campaign but cited responsibility of the status of community hospitals in Donegal as being with the HSE and suggested that the campaigners request a meeting with HSE management in Donegal to find out what plans, if any, exist for the long term future of St. Joseph’s Hospital,” Deputy Pringle said.
In the Minister’s correspondence to Deputy Pringle, the Minister stated ‘no political decision has taken place as any decision in relation to the long term future of St. Joseph’s Hospital is one for the HSE and they alone will make that decision.’
“It’s simply not good enough and while I have made a request to the HSE on behalf of the campaigners I am concerned the Minister has offloaded responsibility to a body her Department governs, regardless of the fact that the General Election is in full swing.’
‘My question is who made the original decision? Who is the HSE accountable to when drastic decisions are made such as the downgrading of St. Joseph’s? The communities affected by the potential closures or downgrading of community hospitals deserve answers and a strong commitment to the future of these services,” Deputy Pringle said.
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