HSE outlines details of service cuts


Details of spending cutbacks affecting four HSE regions and two hospitals groups are being published today.

The HSE South regional service plan states that Mallow General Hospital’s emergency department is to close, with emergency surgery being moved to Cork University Hospital.

The casualty unit at Bantry General Hospital will be replaced by a 12-hour urgent care centre operating seven days a week, according to the plan.

So far, HSE West and HSE South have published their regional service plans, and similar documents are due to be issued shortly for HSE Dublin Mid-Leinster and Dublin North East, as well as for two hospital groups in the Mid-West and Louth-Meath.

An overall national operational plan is also being published.

The HSE South plan commits the organisation to the full implementation of the small hospitals framework, which has not yet been published.

It says acute surgery will be transferred from Bantry to Cork University Hospital in the second quarter of the year, while casualty will be replaced by a 12/7 urgent care centre in the third quarter.

The plan says the small hospital framework will also be fully implemented in respect of Mallow General Hospital, with emergency and inpatient surgery being transferred to Cork city hospitals during the year. The emergency department will be reorganised into an urgent care centre comprising a local injury unit and a medical assessment unit.

“While the smaller hospitals namely Mallow and Bantry now have a defined role delivering less complex care, which will guarantee a sustainable and central future role in health care delivery for both hospitals. Mallow and Bantry will continue to provide services that are appropriate for the hospitals and for the local population, delivering non-complex care as close as possible to patients’ homes,” the plan states.

Last month, the HSE published the national service plan, outlining its plans to spend €13.4 billion on the health services this year while making savings of over €721 million.

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