This is the message from the HSE when they announce the downgrading or closure of local hospital services in regional towns across the country.
Their logic is that in order to provide a 'center of excellence' there needs to be a critical mass of patients in the catchment area of a hospital to give surgeons and specialists sufficient numbers of cases to keep their skills fresh and sharp to avoid mistakes.
Ok, that kinda makes sense, we don't want to have second class out of practice surgeons doing life or death surgeries on patients.
Ennis hospital has been downgraded to the status of an outpatients clinic/geriatric hospice. The reason given was that it's too close to the 'centres of excellence' in galway and Limerick to merit it's own hospital.
Why then has it just been announced that a new 140 bed private hospital will be built in Ennis by 2014?
Is anyone else getting ridiculously sick and tired of being constantly lied to??The proposed development includes 120 in-patient beds and a further 20 outpatient and daycare beds. It will provide a full range of medical and healthcare services including general surgery, urgent care, cardiology, radiation, oncology, cosmetic surgery, four operating theatres and endoscopy.
Other services will include physiotherapy, laboratory, x-ray, radiology, MRI/PET scans, ECG, mammogram, renal dialysis, ultrasound, pharmacy and dental facilities.
The building will include basement level parking for 212 cars, ten disabled parking bays, new access from Shanaway Road and an energy centre with a connecting service tunnel from the hospital basement.
â‚¬60m private hospital plan
If Ennis is too small for a public hospital, how come it's big enough for a private hospital that is bigger than the public hospital they're trying to shut down?
If services are being removed from ennis because there isn't a need for them, why were the health services secretly planning to open a private hospital in the town that conveniently provides the same services that have been stripped from the public hospital?