Fine Gael TD for Roscommon/South Leitrim, Frank Feighan, has welcomed the comments of two leading consultants at Roscommon Hospital who, for the first time since the closure of the emergency department at the hospital, have publicly said that the hospital is delivering a much safer service for patients.
“I am delighted that Consultant Physician and Consultant Surgeon at the hospital, Dr Gerry O’Mara and Dr Liam McMullan respectively, have gone on the public record to endorse the redevelopment of the hospital as a model 2 facility.
“The comments by these medical professionals, who are more qualified than anyone to assess the merits of the changes at Roscommon Hospital, effectively give the lie to the politically motivated campaign which has been mounted in Roscommon against me. I have consistently said that the hospital was now much safer for patients and Dr O’Mara and Dr McMullen’s comments definitively illustrate that this is the case.
“In the Roscommon Herald newspaper published today (Tuesday), Dr O’Mara said that, two and half years on, he could now stand over the service provided and that patients could be assured of a safer service.
“The Roscommon Herald also spoke to Dr McMullen who echoed the sentiments of his colleague, stating that retaining the A&E would have required the appointments of three Emergency Department consultants and a lot of additional staff to bring it up to standard.
“Dr O’Mara went on to explain that the A&E was getting very sick patients that it effectively couldn’t handle. He said the A&E was unable to deliver the required standard of care and that the changes at the hospital over the past two and a half years had resulted in a safer service for patients.
“The campaign mounted against me was designed to sow the seeds of doubt among the people of Roscommon. The assessment provided by these consultants cuts through all the misinformation and provides a clear picture of how our hospital is safer than it was three years ago.
“Roscommon Hospital is not just safer but it is also busier because a higher volume of lower complexity cases have moved to the hospital while more complex cases have been moved to larger hospitals. Since 2001, there has been a 40% cent increase in day procedures and a 25% increase in outpatient activity at Roscommon Hospital.
“The hospital is also delivering on its significant potential for enhancing its role as a leading small hospital. Apart from a range of new development services introduced at Roscommon Hospital since July 2011, significant capital developments totalling €20m are being planned, namely Endoscopy, Rehab and Palliative Care.
“Unfortunately, there are some people who are constantly peddling the untruth that the hospital has closed. This could not be further from the truth. The changes that took place were all about delivering the safest, best quality outcomes possible for all patients.
“I have been saying this for two and half years. Now, for the first time, the consultants who are working at the coalface in Roscommon Hospital have publicly confirmed that the service being offered at the hospital is a much safer one.”