The Mayor of County Cork has 'grave concerns' that, despite statements from the HSE and South/South West Hospital Group, Bantry General Hospital (BGH) will lose its acute status.
Doctors in West Cork are concerned about possible HSE plans to downgrade BGH to a model-2 hospital, similar to that in Roscommon.
Fianna Fáil candidate for Cork South West Councillor Christopher O’Sullivan has said he will be pressing for clear and concrete answers on the future of the facility.
“Having read carefully the statement from the HSE and the South/ South West Hospital Group I still have grave concerns that BGH will lose acute hospital status, which will have a huge impact on treatments,” Cllr O’Sullivan said.
“The language from the HSE is flowery but the message is unclear. They are avoiding some of the key questions that people want answered."
In an email sent to GPs in the region and seen by The Echo, Dr Giette Wieneke of the Marino Medical Centre in Bantry, warned that the downgrading of the hospital would have a major impact on patients in the region.
Cllr O’Sullivan said that he would listen to frontline medical professionals: “These are doctors at the cold face of the health service. If they are concerned then I am extremely concerned.”
He’s reassured people in West Cork that he would try to find out for certain the status if the hospital; whether it would lose its acute emergency access service, and if 24-hour acute medical emergency access to the hospital will be withdrawn.
Following representations on the issue by Cllr O’Sullivan, party leader Micheál Martin said: “I can assure you that Fianna Fáil has no intention of downgrading services at the hospital and we are committed to the emergency unit being kept open on a 24/7 basis.”