THE family of an 88-year-old woman has described as ‘a bloody disgrace’ the fact that they felt forced to bundle their mother in a car and take her 1km by car to Bantry General Hospital (BGH) instead of letting her endure an 80km trip by ambulance to CUH with a broken pelvis.
Speaking on behalf of the family, the Independent TD, Michael Collins, said they were outraged at the lack of consideration shown to their mother.
Michael Collins raised the issue in the Dáil last Thursday, when he called on the Health Minister Simon Harris to provide an explanation as to why the woman couldn’t have been taken by ambulance to her local hospital.
The health minister confirmed that he would be requesting a report from both the HSE and the National Ambulance Service into the situation after it transpired that the woman had broken her pelvis.
Deputy Collins outlined the circumstances, saying that the woman fell at home early on the morning of June 3rd and her family rang for an ambulance, only to be told that she would be brought to Cork.
According to the TD: ‘Three of her children carried her to the family car and despite her discomfort she was there in a matter of minutes.’
He told The Southern Star: ‘I shudder to think what condition she would have been in if she had to make the 80km journey to Cork.
‘In Cork, she would have been so far from home and the additional support of family, given the visiting restrictions due to Covid-19.’
The TD has repeatedly highlighted what he considers to be the unnecessary re-routing of ambulances away from Bantry General Hospital to Cork in The Southern Star.
‘We have to speak out on this issue,’ he said, ‘because if we sit back and do nothing the hospital will be undermined on a gradual but persistent basis.’
Deputy Collins was, however, happy to report that ‘thanks to everyone at Bantry General Hospital, this lady is making a great recovery. She is still in hospital but at least she is content to see her family through the window.’
The West Cork TD also called on the HSE to appoint an anaesthetist to safeguard the provision of services at Bantry General Hospital