Longford councillor and Midland Health Board member James Bannon was at the centre of stormy exchanges at last Thursday's board meeting in Tullamore over the appointment of three accident and emergency specialists to Tullamore.
Cllr Bannon stated that Longford and Westmeath was getting the raw end of the deal for too long. “The statistics speak for themselves – most accident cases are treated in Mullingar”, he stated.
“Longford people feel like they're in a third world country, so much so that there's a health action group as well as a family doctor group making representations to improve the services.
The Fine Gael councillor alleged that decisions in the casualty department were being made by doctors over the telephone without seeing the cases involved.
“I don't want to bring politics into the health board, but politics was introduced by the former Minister for Health who located everything in this end of the region”, he stated, referring to Tullamore and local TD, Brian Cowan.
As Laois Fianna Fail TD John Moloney angrily rejected Cllr Bannon's claims, the Legan man continued to claim that Cowan, over the heads of board members decided to locate the new hospital in Tullamore.
“That was the bones; now he wants to put the meat on it, by locating these specialists here, he stated.
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