March 2009

The future of the Sacred Heart Hospital in Roscommon is uncertain following a high profile management meeting held on Wednesday last according to Independent Councillor Tom Crosby.

The meeting was attended by Senior management together with Union representatives and staff. It was outlined at the meeting that major cost cuts would have to be implemented if the Sacred Heart Hospital were to survive in the future. The meeting was told that at present the cost per in patient per week was approximately €1,500 which is over double the cost of private nursing home accommodation and under the new Private/Public Nursing Homes legislation where the Public facilities will have to compete with the Private sector in turn this would mean cut backs of over 50% of the present budget. Cllr Crosby states that if these new proposals are implemented it could see many of the 120 or so employees who work in the Sacred Heart Hospital loose their jobs or be re deployed to other areas within the HSE Western Region. The Councillor also states that these proposals if implemented would be devastating for the workers, the patients, their families and for the Health Care facilities in County Roscommon, he points out that there seems to be no consideration being given to the many other facilities which are provided at the Sacred Heart Hospital such as a first class Physiotherapy Unit where stroke patients and other patients are transferred for treatment from other medical establishments such the County Hospital. The Day Care Centre which provides full day care facilities for 25 to 30 Senior Citizens from around the County who attend and are cared for on a daily basis and the many other medical services that are provided at the Sacred Heart Hospital.

Cllr Crosby is calling on all Oireachtas member and County Councillors within the County to unite and ensure that no downgrading of this excellent health care facility which has served this County so well for many generations in providing first class health care for the elderly in our County who have only their basic pension as income and could not contemplate private nursing home care.

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