1,200 wait for eye test as
HSE cuts
local services

editorial image
Twelve hundred people in Longford are waiting to see an eye specialist, a meeting of Longford Co Council heard last week.

Twelve hundred people in Longford are waiting to see an eye specialist, a meeting of Longford Co Council heard last week.

It also emerged that local representatives have failed to secure a meeting with Health Service Executive (HSE) officials in the last 12 months.

It was Cllr Peggy Nolan (FG) who brought the matter to a head when she put forward a notice of motion calling on the local authority to ‘engage with the HSE regarding our annual meetings with HSE representatives in 2015’.

“If you cast your mind back, a year went by without any meetings in Longford with the HSE,” she fumed.

“What is more when we do have a meeting, we need people from all spheres within the HSE to be there, and especially those with particular interest in service provision in Co Longford.”

The local area representative for Longford town went on to say that the county had lost four health services in the past 12 months including the eye specialist which has now resulted in a backlog of 1,200 people waiting to have their eyes examined.

“We need to speak to the relevant people within the HSE about this,” she continued.

“I can’t let this matter pass without mentioning the programme on RTE on Wednesday night. The nurses in St Joseph’s Care Centre in Longford town tell me that they are being asked by the HSE to cut their hours.

“None of this is good enough and I want something done about our services; this cannot be allowed to continue.”

Cathaoirleach, Cllr Mark Casey (Ind) then added, “It is vital that the issue is addressed before we lose more services like we did in the last year.

“It just shows you where the HSE holds Longford. As far as I am concerned it is up to the Fine Gael group to put the matters to the Minister and fight for our services in Co Longford.”

HSE forum member, Cllr PJ Reilly then confirmed to the meeting that it had been 12 months since he had attended a meeting with the HSE in relation to local services.

“I agree with everything Cllr Nolan says,” he added. “It was last year when we met with Joe Ruane and I do think it would be very important to get a representative from the HSE to tell us what is happening to our services.

“We need a meeting sooner rather than later.”

“Joe Ruane is balancing his budget on the back of Longford and it is not good enough,” Cllr Nolan concluded.