Funding sought to save hospital


A Fianna Fáil councillor has called on the Minister for Health and Children, Mary Harney, to help prevent the closure of the City Of Dublin Skin And Cancer Hospital on Hume Street.

A fire-safety report has recommended that the hospital be closed after finding that the lives of patients and staff there would be at risk in a fire.

Gary Keegan, a councillor for Dublin South East and who sits on the hospital board, said the report says that "fire precaution in the hospital building is below an acceptable level". It highlights "inadequate fire-escape facilities and a lack of protection against the spread of fire".

Mr Keegan said the hospital's board was faced with some very difficult decisions and needed time to consider its future.

"I am calling on Minister Harney to stop the hospital's closure. She must ensure the Health Services Executive (HSE) in the Leinster region fully facilitates the board in that objective. It must immediately make available whatever funding is needed.

'The fire-safety report's recommendation that the hospital be shut down is very regrettable. But I believe the HSE and Minister Harney have a responsibility to take emergency action to stop the hospital's closure.

"It is paramount that health and safety standards are at their highest level in any hospital. Staff and patients must be able to work without fearing harm should a tragic accident happen. But whatever funding is needed to bring safety standards to an acceptable level must be delivered immediately. We cannot afford to lose this vital hospital."