HSE in firing line over St Joseph's care bed row

Liam Cosgrove

Reporter:

Liam Cosgrove

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Liam.cosgrove@Longfordleader.ie

The HSE is coming under renewed pressure to provide a second palliative care bed as part of a new multi million euro upgrade of St Joseph's Care Centre in Longford town.

The State health provider has attracted heightened criticism in recent days after doubts emerged over calls to double the campus' current from the single palliative care bed it currently houses. Those overtures come after Health Minister Simon Harris visited the Dublin road facility in April where plans for a multi million euro investment, comprising the inclusion of 68 long term beds were made.

“They (HSE) are talking about a new state of the art facility in St Joseph's,” said Cllr Paraic Brady.

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The Fine Gael councillor, who is one of three local representatives aligned to the HSE's Dublin Mid Leinster Health Forum, vowed to sit down with HSE chief Pat Bennett this week over the impasse.

“All we are saying here is the need for a second bed,” said the Drumlish based local politician.

“It's non sensical. The Minister (Simon Harris) gave a commitment it will be provided for but the HSE told us in a written request there is no need for a second bed because there are eight beds in Athlone and three in Mullingar.”

Cllr Brady warned that should HSE bosses continue to stand firm in their stance over palliative care provision in St Joseph's, a large political delegation would hold fresh talks with Mr Harris at Leinster House.

“We are not accepting this and we won't be taking no for an answer,” he vowed.

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