Cork North West TD, Michael Creed, has said that he has received assurances that the future of Macroom Hospital is not under threat following the publication of the HSE service plan for 2012. Commenting on the continued speculation surrounding the future of the hospital;
“I am acutely aware of the anxiety that is being felt in the Macroom area regarding the future of Macroom hospital. I have been in continued engagement with my colleague the Minister for Health Dr James Reilly and officials in the HSE & HIQA on this matter over the past few months and I am encouraged by the feedback I am receiving from all quarters. I have been reassured by the Minister and the HSE that Macroom hospital is not under threat of closure”.
“There are however challenges facing this important facility which must be faced up to by all stakeholders who have an interest in the hospital. Crucially we now live in an era where public patients seeking long term care have a choice in whether they go to a facility such as Macroom hospital or a private nursing home. Further to this, it is significantly more economical for the state to fund a patient entering a private facility compared to a public hospital such as Macroom. The cost per bed differential between public and private facilities must be bridged in the short term in order to ensure the continued viability of public facilities”.
“The state has a duty of care to all patients requiring care. Therefore the HIQA continuously scrutinise the standards being adhered to in all health care facilities in the Country. High standards of health care bring with them capital costs that are sometimes significant. Macroom hospital has proven to be meeting HIQA’s standards admirably according to recent reports, however the challenge remains to maintain and upgrade these standards on a continuous basis”.
“Despite these challenges I am satisfied with the assurances that have been offered to me regarding the future of the hospital. I am confident that the political and public will exists to ensure that the continued viability of Macroom hospital will not be called into question”.