Downgrading of Bantry hospital a ‘wrong move’
Move will cause chaos in remote peninsulas, community watchdog says
The HSE says more than 90 per cent of patients attending Bantry hospital will continue to do so: “There will be no changes for patients who require emergency hospital treatment in west Cork.”
A decision to close the emergency department at Bantry General Hospital from 8pm to 8am daily and replace it with a minor injury unit represents a significant downgrading of services which will cause chaos in remote peninsulas, the West Cork Communities Alliance has claimed.
Margaret Peters, secretary of the voluntary community watchdog, said the decision which took effect yesterday was the wrong move for Bantry hospital which serves a population of 82,000.
“My worry is that if you are a patient from the Beara Peninsula suffering from a night-time fall requiring stitches you may have to go on a three-hour journey to Cork University Hospital (CUH) . . . This is a cost-saving decision not one that benefits patients.” Ms Peters said CUH is already stretched to its limits without having patients from west Cork adding to the workload.
Meanwhile, the HSE claims that more than 90 per cent of patients attending Bantry hospital will continue to do so. “There will be no changes for patients who require emergency hospital treatment in west Cork. Patients with medical emergencies such as suspected heart attacks or strokes will continue to attend the hospital.”