SIR – In recent weeks the future of Bantry General Hospital maintaining its 24hr services, including ambulance services, has been a very worrying topic for the residents of West Cork.
It seems that the HSE number crunchers are looking at the bottom line and not the health of the nation.
The cost of Bantry General Hospital should be measured in its value to the local community as an essential resourse and not in its relative cost to the exchequer.
The geographical location of such a well established medical facility has been a safety blanket for generations of the rural communtites of Beara, Sheeps Head, the Mizen and the general West Cork and South Kerry regions. To disrespect and endanger the well-being of our communities by changing the current status of facilities in BGH is an insult.
Without playing statistical table tennis, BGH is an obvious overflow solution for CUH allowing the residents of West Cork the right to an acceptable level of public health care. CUH is constantly under pressure with a trolley carousel of patients that redirected ambulances from West Cork would only contribute to.
Any changes in the current operations of BGH will also have serious consequences for the levels of resources needed by local GPs to support rural communities.
The HSE needs to take note of what irreversable damage might result in the removal of 24hr services and the ambulance service from BGH.
Health is wealth to our West Cork community. Here on the edge of Europe, the government is trying to push us over it by taking our most valuable resource away.