BY TOMMY MOYLES
BANTRY General Hospital is a success story built on people working together.
That’s according to Senator Tim Lombard who said it was disappointing to hear people talk the facility down.
Speaking at the recent Fine Gael event, Rural Roadmap to 2030, in the West Lodge Hotel in Bantry, he told the meeting: ‘We have six full time consultants in Bantry General Hospital. Never before has it had that staffing level, 17 house doctors and over 300 members of staff, it is a success story built on people working together to make sure it delivers for the rural peninsulas it serves. We all heard about the new changes to the hospital service in Ennis where they are taking ambulances on a 24-hour schedule, that’s been happening in Bantry for decades.’
Uniquely classified as a ‘model 2 remote rural hospital,’ Bantry provides acute general hospital services to the population of the West Cork.
Speaking to The Southern Star he said the hospital has long been used as a ‘political football’ in West Cork. We’ve seen this regularly over recent years, particularly during election campaigns where there is often political gain to be made by scare-mongering tactics and spreading fear that services will be reduced. Of course, the reality is often very different to what we hear from those who shout loudly and constantly talk down rural Ireland.’
Detailing the positives, he said: ‘We need to acknowledge what we have here. We have a competent capable system that’s in place and we need to build on that. In recent years, it has seen investment in the acute medical assessment unit, St Joseph’s Unit, radiology suite, laboratory and local injury unit. Enabling works on the new endoscopy unit and stroke rehabilitation unit began in recent months and this heralds the beginning of the next phase of very significant investment.
‘Hospital manager Carol Croke informed me that they are hoping to increase the number of non-consultant hospital doctors from the current 17 to 21. Bantry General Hospital is a good news story.’