BRIGHT FUTURE FOR MACROOM HOSPITAL WITH €5.8 MILLION CAPITAL ALLOCATION

Cork North West TD Michael Creed has warmly welcomed the inclusion of Macroom Community Hospital in the Department of Health’s Capital programme and the provision of €5.8 million toward the refurbishment of the facility. Commenting on the allocation Deputy Creed said:

“I am extremely pleased that Macroom Community Hospital has been included for funding in the Department of Health’s Capital Investment plan and that €5.8 million is to be provided for the refurbishment of the hospital which is to be completed by 2019.

“This is a most welcome development as the hospital seeks to meet the standards set out by HIQA inside the 2021 deadline they have set out. I understand that there is a design team in place and that work is underway on a planning application for the required works.

“There have been elements who have sought to make political capital by engaging in scaremongering about the future of Macroom hospital. Today’s investment programme forever silences any suggestions that the hospital does not have a future.

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CREED WELCOMES €50,000 FOR WESTGATE FOUNDATION BALLINCOLLIG

Cork North West T.D. Michael Creed has today warmly welcomed the allocation of €50,000 by the Department of Health of National Lottery funds to the Westgate Foundation Ballincollig. Commenting on the allocation Deputy Creed said:

“I am pleased to see a very worthy organisation in this constituency being supported with an allocation from the Department of Health of National Lottery funding. Westgate Foundation, in Ballincollig has been awarded €50,000 which I hope can supplement the ongoing fundraising efforts of the foundation and help them deliver on their continuing development plans.”

CREED MOVES TO ALLAY FEARS OVER FUTURE OF MACROOM & MILLSTREET HOSPITALS

Cork North West TD Michael Creed has dismissed suggestions that Macroom and Millstreet hospitals face closure. Commenting on a Sunday newspaper article on the matter Deputy Creed said:

“The article in yesterday’s paper was sensationalised and unhelpful in that it raises fears for residents and staff of the facilities mentioned. The truth of the matter is that closure of these facilities is certainly not on the agenda. It is the case that these units require investment to update their structural condition. HIQA have identified this and the HSE is actively engaging in addressing this matter.

“As is the case with all health care facilities – throughout the Country – the ultimate penalty or sanction for failure to comply with regulations is closure. However it is purely false to suggest any facility faces closure. I have contacted the Ministers office and the HSE on this matter and I am satisfied that his Department and the HSE are working towards addressing the issues highlighted by HIQA. There are challenges facing Macroom and Millstreet hospitals – closure is not one of them

GOVERNMENT APPROACH TO ALCOHOL ABUSE BORDERLINE SHAMBOLIC

Cork North West Fine Gael T.D. Michael Creed has described the Government approach to tackling the problem of alcohol abuse as borderline shambolic. Speaking during a Dáil debate on the Sport Ireland Bill, Deputy Creed said:
“At present, the Government’s approach to this issue is borderline shambolic. It is stumbling around proposals for minimum pricing and is now long-fingering proposals in that regard. Abusive alcohol consumption is a cancer in Irish society and is closely associated with sporting organisations, which is very regrettable.

“I believe that at the stroke of a pen in the morning, the Government could reinstate the ban on below-cost selling of alcohol as was provided for in the groceries order that was abolished in 2006. The Government appears to have abdicated its position on minimum pricing until such time as the European Commission rules on the Scottish proposals, which are now under appeal there. The Minister of State should be in no doubt but that we are dealing with a powerful vested interest in the form of the drinks industry. Members have seen the tobacco industry flexing its muscles on plain packaging, but equally I have no doubt Members are witnessing arm twisting behind the scenes by the drinks industry with regard to minimum pricing.

“According to figures provided by the National Off-Licence Association before an Oireachtas committee hearing, incredibly Irish taxpayers subsidise the below-cost sale of alcohol to the tune of €21 million per annum through refunds to the multiples that have grossly offensive advertisements in the daily newspapers every day of the week, as well as in every Sunday newspaper, which are designed to increase footfall in order that they may sell other products to consumers”.

CREED WELCOMES ASSURANCES ON FUTURE OF MACROOM HOSPITAL

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”.