A GROUP of GPs in training in West Cork have raised concerns that any potential decision to downgrade Bantry General Hospital (BGH) would be felt for generations to come.
A group of trainee GPs contacted The Echo to voice their concerns in a letter, signed by Dr Joseph Ryan, Dr Eoin O’Shea and Dr Brian Aherne on behalf of West Cork GP trainees.
“A lot has been made in recent times of the potential downgrading of services provided at Bantry General Hospital,” said the group.
“Unfortunately these threats appear to be becoming more and more frequent in recent years.
“As a group of young doctors from West Cork who are currently on the Cork GP training scheme, we felt compelled to voice our grave concern with the escalating threat facing Bantry Hospital,” they added.
“We have all worked in Bantry Hospital at various grades in the last number of years.
“We have also been fortunate enough to gain experience abroad in different healthcare systems and work environments.
“From our experience, the services provided in Bantry Hospital, given the resources available, are first class.
“The calibre and commitment of staff to West Cork, including the Islands and parts of Kerry, is something to be admired and encouraged.”
The group warned that any downgrading of the hospital would have a huge impact on city hospitals that are already struggling to cope.
“Some of us are currently working in Cork University Hospital and Mercy Hospital and experience first hand the pressure on services.
“We are in no doubt that a downgrading of services at Bantry would only exacerbate current conditions and put lives at risk,” they explained.
“We implore people to make Bantry Hospital a priority this election and stand up and make their voices heard.
“We fear the knock-on effects of such a short-sighted decision will be felt for generations and put more pressure on the survival and progress of rural Ireland, particularly in West Cork.”