29 August 2009

Dublin Protests over Hospital Cutbacks

Angry protests over health cutbacks have taken place outside two hospitals in Dublin today.

More than fifty people have demonstrated outside Our Lady's Children's Hospital in Crumlin this afternoon, while a separate protest took place at the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital (commonly better known as the 'Mater Hospital').

The protesters, most of them current and former patients of the hospital and their relatives, demanded the reopening of a closed operating theatre and a ward at Crumlin (right). They also called for the reversal of other cuts at Ireland's best-known children's hospital.

Meanwhile, the Labour Party said that 120 beds in the Mater Hospital are now occupied by patients whose treatment has ended.
During a party protest at the hospital, Dublin Labour TD Joe Costello said that "60 of those beds have been occupied for 100 days or more".

He explained that "a lack of step-down facilities means patients cannot be discharged" and that this is having "a knock-on effect on the hospital's Accident & Emergency department".

Deputy Costello said his information was based on an official reply to a parliamentary question he had asked recently.

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