Roscommon hospital 'busier now' after downgrade, says local TD


Much of the negative publicity about Roscommon County Hospital was incorrect, said local Fine Gael TD Frank Feighan.

“Nearly two years on from when it was downgraded, the hospital is busier now. Before one had to wait three to six months for a procedure in Galway and Dublin, while now it can be done in Roscommon.’’

Mr Feighan said a €3 million endoscopy project had been announced for the hospital site which would bring patients from farther away. “When I hear people claim Roscommon hospital is closed, I ask them to do me a favour and call into the hospital to see for themselves what is happening there. In three years’ time more procedures will be carried out in the hospital than in 2009.’’

“Magnificent work”

Mr Feighan, who was speaking on the Health Insurance (Amendment) Bill, said “sometimes we should shout from the rooftops the magnificent work being done in the hospital and across the health service’’.

Seán Fleming (FF) said a key element of the Bill dealt with the Health Insurance Authority, the regulator in health insurance. “I believe the authority should be closed. It is a stand-alone independent quango which should be merged with the Financial Regulator.’’

Jerry Buttimer (FG) said the fall in the number of people with health insurance cover since 2008 was some 170,000. In the three months to last August, 16,000 people had cancelled or did not renew policies. When shopping around for insurance, people did not necessarily understand the small print. Insurers should make it clear to customers what they were actually signing up for.