Loughlinstown 24-hour A&E due to reduce hours on 1st Novemeber


This is a version of the text of a leaflet distributed by the Save Loughlinstown A&E Campaign.
For a longer analysis of the health system from the WSM please see our pamhlet "Towards a Cure" :

St.Collumcilles 24-hour A&E in Loughlinstown due to close on 1st of November:
Don't let it happen!

As part of the programme of austerity being imposed by the Fine Gael/Labour Government and the troika of the IMF/ECB/EU, one billion euro has been cut from the health budget from this year alone, with more on the way. Due to this reduction in funding, the 24-hour Accident and Emergency Depeartment will be closed from the first of Novemeber, and will be reduced to a 10-hour daytime only service.

When this closure happens, this means that there will be no 24-hour A&E from St.Vincents Hospital in Dublin all the way to Wexford General Hospital. While people may claim that St.Vincent's is only another 10 minutes up the road via ambulance, the time matters all the more if you are travelling up from Wicklow Town or rural parts of the county. It is true that many serious cases are bypassed to Vincent's, but this is due to St.Collumcille's hospital being underfunded and not having the necessary equipment to deal with all cases, which is a sorry state for a hospital to be in.

Likewise, St.Vincent's is already struggling to cope with it's own workload, with 19 patients lying on trolleys waiting for a bed on the 26th of August, which is far from unusual, and long waiting lists for surgureys are the norm. How can they cope with the 12,000 extra A&E visits a year when Loughlinstown closes? They are at crisis point already.

This is coming at no suprise. For years sucessive governments have deliberately run down the public health system, in order to give drive to a move to a two-tier private health system, to go with their for-profit privatisation agenda. Austerity has not helped this.

Did you know that:

-Staff numbers in our Health service have been reduced by nearly 6000 since 2008.
-European safety levels for populations recommends 18,000 beds for Ireland, we have 13,5000 beds with almost 2000 beds shut due to staffing levels.
-Labours Brendan Howlin has stated that ministers should prepare for €11 billion of public cuts in the next 3 years.

- There is around €420 billion worth of oil and gas of our west coast, that has been given away at a pittance to Shell. If these resources were nationalised they could be used to fund our health and education systems among many other things.

- We are being told that the country is broke and that we have to take the pain. Well, there is still a pot of gold in this country. 1% of the population of Ireland own 34% of the wealth. This 1% should be taxed much higher than they are already, instead of cutbacks and pay attacks on low-paid workers. Even a small increase in tax could raise millions.

Lobbying politicians or small groups of activists protesting is not going to stop the closure of the 24-hour A&E, only a mass movement of people on the streets can do that. There has been a campaign established to help stop the closure, which can be contacted by emailing xxxx, and find us on Facebook at http://tinyurl.com/3cnauod and the Wicklow Committe of the campaign at http://www.facebook.com/SOSWicklow .

  • Author: JW