Tooth and nail | 

Mass rally to protest against move to shut down Our Lady's Hospital ED in Navan

‘So we in Meath are going to fight tooth and nail to keep the hospital A&E open but also to get investment in it’

Navan Hospital

Neil FetherstonhaughSunday World

A mass rally to protest against a move to shut down Our Lady's Hospital Emergency Department is taking place in Navan today.

A proposal to replace the hospital's Emergency Department with a 24-hour medical assessment and injury unit has met with strong opposition locally.

According to the HSE, Navan hospital will still see around 80 per cent of the 25-30 patients it currently sees daily through these units.

However, more specialised care will be diverted to hospitals such as Our Lady of Lourdes, Drogheda in Co Louth.

Aontú Leader Peadar Tóibín, who is also Cathaoirleach of the Save Navan Hospital Campaign, described the situation as “incomprehensible” at a time when Drogheda, Connolly, the Mater and Mullingar are struggling with overcrowding in their emergency departments.

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He says up to 47 patients a day that use Navan's ED will have to join the overcrowding in Drogheda's Emergency Department.

“Overcrowding is bad for health, and it is dangerous to life. It’s estimated that 350 people die every year in this state due to A&E overcrowding,” Deputy Tóibín told Newstalk.

“So we in Meath are going to fight tooth and nail to keep the hospital A&E open but also to get investment in it. It needs investment in terms of acute surgery services to make sure it is amongst the best and safest in the country.”

Politicians have raised concerns about the proposal, including the Minister for Justice and Meath East TD Helen McEntee – who said that the HSE had not addressed “serious questions around capacity”.


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