Our Lady’s Hospital, Navan’s clinical director said severely sick patients in Co Meath “don’t have the best chance of survival” at the clinic. The HSE made the announcement on Monday that Our Lady’s Hospital will become a “model 2” hospital, sparking uproar.

This implies closing the little emergency department and the ICU and opening a 24/7 health evaluation unit, which according to the HSE will still cater for 80% of the about thirty sick people it sees daily. Also, the clinic will get a local trauma unit.

Politicians are concerned as to the “downgrade’s” impact on patient accessibility emergency to health care and Our Lady of Lourdes’ capacity.

Stephen Donnelly, the Health Minister said on Tuesday that the government has not agreed to the HSE’s proposal to move Our Lady’s Hospital Navan’s (OLHN) emergency department.

Helen McEntee, the Justice Minister and Meath East TD, stated the HSE hadn’t resolved “serious capacity queries” in Tuesday’s Facebook post.

“Any propositions that require Meath residents to use emergency services beyond the county borders that aren’t sufficiently resourced are intolerable,” she said.

OLHN’s clinic director, Gerry McEntee, emphasized on Thursday. “I don’t understand whether the general populace realizes this, but severely sick people at OLHN aren’t given the greatest chance of survival,” he informed News At One.

“In other areas in the nation, severely sick people are carried by ambulance or by family to the closest level 4 or 3 clinics with the capacity to offer emergency care services to the patients to boost their survival chance. Unfortunately, severely sick Co Meath residents have a different opinion.”

Mr. McEntee stated “ “it’s not safe” for the emergency department to proceed how it is at the moment. All junior hospital doctors have voiced fears regarding safety and health in Navan and sent messages to Minister Donnelly.

When questioned regarding legislators’ concerns, Mr. McEntee said, “They can differ with my opinion, however, it doesn’t make sense for inexperienced lawmakers with no medical experience to tell anaesthetists, surgeons, physicians, nurses, and myself as OLHN’s clinical director who manages these medical problems on a daily basis what is safe for Navan.”

On Wednesday, Anne O’ Connor, the HSE’s chief operations officer told the Oireachtas Health Committee that Navan’s limited ability and services make it tough to update to a model-3 hospital.

Navan hospital boosts of only 62 medical beds, whereas other model-3 and model-4 hospitals have 200/250 beds. Despite Meath’s growing population, Navan’s lack of nephrology, infectious disease, emergency surgery, neurology, interventional radiology, and interventional cardiology makes it difficult to sufficiently empower the clinic.

The facility isn’t certified for learning, so placing apprentices there isn’t an alternative. It isn’t okay or viable to offer every service everywhere in healthcare. Ms. O’Connor said Navan has seen “considerable funding” in years past, including radiology services and more theatre beds.

“In Our Lady of Lourdes, we added eighty-four beds for Navan. So forty of those beds are to make up the difference for Drogheda’s growth and forty-four for Navan’s decline. Paul Reid, the HSE chief informed the board, “We should invest more money in Navan hospital,” but he must pay attention to clinical specialists’ concerns.

As HSE CEO, Mr. Reid said he must take these risks critically. “I take the safety of sick people and lifesaving threats gravely. So I must resolve it. “We will resolve the govt’s worries,” he said. “But I won’t give up here.”

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