Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Minister for Health Simon Harris, Michael Ring TD, Senator Rose Conway-Walsh, Senator Keith Swanick, Senator Michelle Mulhern, Dara Calleary TD, Lisa Chambers TD, Health Service Executive
We are asking the government, the HSE and our public representatives to ensure that Belmullet District Hospital remains open and that it is adequately resourced to operate at full capacity. We want plans for downgrading, cuts to staffing and a ban on new admissions reversed immediately.
Why is this important?
Downgrading, staff cuts and a ban on any new admissions to the hospital presents an inevitable risk of full closure. It ultimately means that the hospital will lose beds and will no longer be able to facilitate respite care, step down care and long stay patients. A total of 21 beds were closed in Belmullet already between Áras Deirble Nursing Home and the Community Hospital. The Barony of Erris is a vast, highly dispersed area, the size of Co. Louth with a population of nearly 10,000 people. The main hospital is located in the county town of Castlebar- Mayo University Hospital is a 190km round trip from one of the farthest points in Erris, with patients having to travel one the worst roads in the country, the R312. With an ageing population and increased demand for step down and respite care, we cannot lose our hospital. This will put unimaginable pressure on older and vulnerable patients, their families and on Mayo University Hospital, where overcrowding and bed shortages are already an issue.