Labour Deputy for Dublin West, Joan Burton, has today demanded an opening be set by the Minister for Health for the new wing of the James Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown during a debate in the Dail today. Deputy Burton commented, “Almost EU 100 million has been spent on this brand new facility, with state of the art equipment wrapped in cellophane and lying unused.
“The statement by the Minister of State Brian Lenihan that an additional EU 5 million has been allocated to the hospital is old money promised by Micheal Martin when he visited the hospital some time ago. None of this 5 million will actually go into the opening of the new building. Instead, it will be spent refurbishing an existing surgical block.
“I have two further questions for the Minister: In relation to the closure of Unit 8 West, what is to happen to the ten patients today in the ward and uncertain of where to go?
“And secondly, in relation to the rheumatology department, currently treating many patients on a day-care basis, will these patients now have to join a queue for acute medical facilities?
“Many of these patients are young people who have acute rheumatic conditions, whose current treatment by the department is highly successful, enabling them to maintain their working and family lives. The proposals to merge this department, will, in fact, cost far more money in the long run. This is symptomatic of the crisis in political management and administration in the health system.
“It is a grave disservice to the wonderful work done by the medical and nursing staff in James Connolly that the hospital should be the victim of such vicious cutbacks.
“It will be spent on the old surgical wing to allow elderly patients vacate.”