Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health David Cullinane has called on the Minister for Health and the HSE to reverse the downgrading of paediatric services at Tallaght Hospital as a matter of urgency.
Deputy Cullinane’s comments come following the news that acute paediatric surgical services are to be withdrawn at Tallaght, diverting roughly 6,000 additional cases to Crumlin and Temple Street.
This is despite no additional resources being made available at either hospital, and no prior consultation with affected healthcare workers.
Speaking today, Teachta Cullinane said: “Hospital capacity as we head into the winter season is of major concern. For paediatric services at Tallaght Hospital to be downgraded at any time is unacceptable, but even more so in this context.
“The knock-on effect of this decision is that approximately 6,000 additional cases will now be moved to Crumlin Children’s Hospital and Temple Street Children’s Hospital, despite the fact that neither have received any additional resources to cope with the extra patients and increased workload.
“This has led to great concerns among frontline healthcare workers in these hospitals, who had no forewarning that this decision was coming.
“It is an insult to frontline staff, who have done so much to keep us safe and healthy since the onset of the pandemic, to make such an arbitrary decision without any consultation.
“The INMO has rightly expressed its concern at what it describes as a ‘sudden and unplanned’ decision, which comes in the same week as Crumlin Children’s Hospital registered its highest number of patients without beds since the onset of Covid-19 as 13 children were forced to sleep on trolleys yesterday.
“We share the INMO’s concerns. This is also a further blow to children and their parents, who already have to contend with the delay in the construction of the National Children’s Hospital.
“I call on the Minister for Health and the HSE to reverse this decision with immediate effect.
“Failure to do so will overload already stretched services, and put the healthcare of our children in jeopardy.”