Clare Sinn Féin Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

McKee Concerned by Ennis Hospital Revelations‏

Published: 16 June, 2014

Mike McKee at the first meeting of the new County Council.

Mike McKee at the first meeting of the new County Council.

Plans to close the acute psychiatric unit at Ennis General Hospital and the revelation that a new manager appointed by the HSE will receive a salary of €258,000 have been described as very concerning by one County Councillor. Cllr. Mike McKee says he will be seeking answers from the health minister.

The Shannon area councillor told us, "from what we're hearing, the psychiatric unit in Limerick will be closed for refurbishment with the patients being transferred to Ennis. The acute unit in Ennis can barely cope with the numbers of patients they have. We were told of one patient who was turned away last week, despite feeling suicidal, due to lack of beds. When the Limerick unit is ready it seems Ennis is to be closed and Limerick is to take patients from Clare instead. A recent report found Limerick's A&E to be unfit for purpose, that doesn't give us much confidence in the psychiatric facilities there either. We've had promises in the past about better facilities in Limerick but these have never been provided. Staff have been left to struggle against overwhelming odds to care for patients. I don't want to see vulnerable people with psychiatric conditions or those trying to care for them suffering in that way".

"If this is a cost saving measure then it is another example of the vulnerable in our society being targeted by austerity policies. Cost issues don't seem to have been considered when the HSE appointed a new manager at well over the €116,000 salary. If they have money available it should be put into front-line patient services. I completely support the workers who are taking action against this".

"I intend having the planned closure of our acute psychiatric unit raised with the minister for health. I will be looking for real answers and reassurances for patients in Clare that their care will not be compromised. That is the least they deserve" he said in conclusion.