Concern was expressed by Ballyshannon Town Councillors over the speculated closures of the two hospitals in the town at their monthly meeting this week.
Cllr Pat O’Malley said the Minister for Health, Dr. James Reilly TD has signalled the closure of nursing homes around the country and that he was deeply concerned about the future of both the Rock and Sheil Hospitals in the town.
Cllr O’Malley said, “I find it ridiculous that consultants are earning up on €475,000 per annum and the most vulnerable in society are being totally neglected. We are constantly reading about former Ministers and Taoisighs’ pensions in excess of €100,000 on top of their existing salaries yet there are people in our midst that can barely fill the oil tank.
“It seems that the poorer you are the harder they kick you.
“The residents in both these hospitals enjoy superb care and regard them as their homes and they have to be protected and I urgently demand clarification.”
Town Clerk, Mary Daly said that she had been in touch with the HSE who confirmed that the matter was under review but that no decision had been made as yet. She added that she also understood that consideration is being giving to moving the facilities to one site and that from previous correspondence the new facility would be on one of the existing sites.
Cllr. O’Malley later said that he would welcome a brand new state-of-the-art facility either on one of the existing sites or on a greenfield site.
“These buildings are both quite old but the Sheil in particular could be put to other uses - it is a very historic building and could be adapted for many uses.
“A totally new hospital would create a lot of jobs in the area both in construction and in the operation and most importantly would provide a high level of care for the residents.”
Cllr. Brendan Travers said that it was “easy to speculate and scaremonger re the hospitals’ future” but stressed that until further clarification was available the matter should be left alone.
“I do however accept that the hospitals are being reviewed,” he said.