SIR – Local politicians are currently canvassing for votes around West Cork. Ironically, many of them are promising their support for Bantry Hospital and outlining grand plans to resolve its current further ‘downgrading’.
But what exactly did they do to safeguard the hospital while they were in office? Nothing!
Forty years ago Bantry had a ‘state-of-the-art’ hospital, with full surgical, medical, maternity and other services, operating 24/7, 365 days a year. However, successive governments have presided over its ‘downgrading’ to ‘grade 2’ today.
They should be ashamed of themselves. Since then, patients as far away as Eyeries have to travel over two hours to CUH.
The lengthy journey can reduce chances of survival. And at CUH they face lengthy queues, and hours on trolleys.
It’s another scandal that our patients are now going to Northern Ireland for routine hip and eye operations. This is adding to the further downgrading of hospitals like Bantry by sending money out of the country from an already beleaguered health service.
What is even more ludicrous is the proposed ‘solution’ – to build a ‘centre of excellence’ in Cork city. This government doesn’t exactly have a good track record on building hospitals.
Another reason being used to downgrade Bantry Hospital is its inability to obtain consultants and staff. May I respectfully suggest that they pay proper salaries with more humane working hours to alleviate such problems.
With a population of approximately 82,000 people in West Cork, surely it would be more logical to develop Bantry as a centre of excellence instead. We, the residents of West Cork, should demand it. Were it not for Bantry Hospital 38 years ago, my daughter would not only have lost her leg, but her life as well. I am sure there are very many more families with similar stories.
Let all of us 82,000 voters in West Cork, stand up, be counted, and not let another government treat us like second class citizens. We should demand proper health facilities for the largest county in Ireland.
We are paying more and more through property tax etc, but receiving less services in return.
Where would we be without organisations like the Friends of Bantry Hospital now? The politicians vying for our votes need to know we are tired of idle promises. We need less talk and more action.