THE HSE came in for severe criticism from councillors at a County Council meeting last week over their failure to advertise in time a vacancy for a surgeon in Bantry Hospital.
Cllr Danny Collins (Ind) said the HSE knew about the retirement of surgeon Abu Ghali for months and wondered why they couldn’t have planned for it.
A locum was in place at the hospital following the retirement of Mr Ghali ensuring there was no lapse in service and following interviews last week a new surgeon will take up his position there shortly and conduct surgery five days a week.
However regarding the time frame, Cllr Collins said: ‘The HSE have a lot to answer for and it seems like they haven’t a clue and they need to cop on.’
Cllr John O’Sullivan (FG) said that the HSE are ‘sitting on their hands.’
‘They’re being paid high wages to manage and they’re not doing it.’
Cllr O’Sullivan also called on the HSE to make a public commitment never to allow what happened in Bantry to happen again.
Cllr Mary Hegarty (FG) said there had been huge investment put into Bantry Hospital and paid tribute to the staff there.
‘However, the HSE should have put advertisements in place in a more appropriate time frame,’ said Cllr Hegarty.
Cllr Paul Hayes (SF) said the HSE was being ‘very tardy’ in reacting to the retirement of surgeon Abu Ghali and described the move as ‘a slight of hand.’
‘They’ve seen the train coming down the tracks and the HSE need to be more pro-active than re-active,’ said Cllr Hayes.
Cllr Gillian Coughlan (FF) said this was indicative of the HSE which is ‘creaking.’
‘We have Bandon Community Hospital and nothing is happening there,’ she said adding: ‘I’m calling on Minister for Health Simon Harris and Deputy Jim Daly to act on this and revisit it,’ said Cllr Coughlan.
‘We will also have further problems if we can’t recruit consultants. There’s a shortage of GPs in West Cork too and there seems to be a stripping of services. We need investment in our services to attract young professionals.’
Cllr Deirdre O’Brien of Fianna Fáil said the HSE needs to be accountable.
‘They ‘can’t get away with it,’ she added.