The chairman of the campaign to save St Joseph’s Community Hospital in Stranorlar has issued a rallying cry ahead of a major march planned for the Twin Towns tomorrow.
Fr. John Joe Duffy issued the statement ahead of the march which takes place at 1pm tomorrow (Sat)
Fr Duffy asked how much longer will it take before it dawns on the Government that they cannot dupe us?
He fumed “It is 3 years and 7 weeks since the Kathleen Lynch decision to replace all beds in St. Joseph’s, Stranorlar, Lifford and Ramelton with a new Private Hospital in Letterkenny.
“It is now time for the Government spin machine to stop. The fake grants have failed. The false dawns have run out. The spin train has been derailed by the consistent holding to account of the Government and HSE by the people, by the Save Our St. Joseph’s Hospital Action Group and by Elected Representatives.
“How long before it dawns on the Government there is no point in spin, in false promises, fake grants, political lies and the withholding of information and concoction of words. How long before they realise that they cannot pull the wool over the eyes of the people of Donegal?”
He added that the facts are that there is not a cent for St. Joseph’s Community Hospital.
He added “The only plan for St. Joseph’s Community Hospital, for Lifford and Ramelton is the Kathleen Lynch Plan for the new Private hospital in Letterkenny which justified by the replacing of all beds in the 3 existing hospitals and a higher than required capacity need for Donegal as was pointed out to us by a HSE official at a meeting in St. Joseph’s hospital on 25th April 2106 and in July 2018 Minister Joe Mc Hugh confirmed for us at a meeting in Stranorlar that the HSE used the replacement of the 3 existing hospitals to get the new private hospital for Letterkenny over the line.”
He added that as we have seen with so many services in the last few years it is now very clear that the plan of this Government is to privatise all Community Hospitals as we have seen with other services.
“First St. Joseph’s, Lifford and Ramelton and then other community hospital nursing units. Speaking on a local radio station on the 5th May 2017, Phelim Quinn CEO of HIQA said it is the case that service providers and planners sometimes use the authorities reports to close a unit or facility and it is not always as a direct result of what HIQA’s intervention has brought about.”
Fr Duffy said it is very clear that St. Josephs Stranorlar, Lifford and Ramelton are being prepared for closure after the new Private hospital is built in Letterkenny, due to a to lack of any investment and the Government decision announced by then Minister Kathleen Lynch to replace St. Josephs Stranorlar, Lifford and Ramelton with the new Private Hospital to be opened in Letterkenny in 2021.
“On many occasions since February 2016, our Action group was castigated and vilified by some in what was a hostile campaign against us for unveiling the truth and exposing fake news and falsehoods. We have been clearly vindicated and proven right. We thank Minister Mc Hugh for stating that the Kathleen Lynch plan was a genuine plan supported by the HSE to get the new private hospital at Letterkenny over the line.
“That there never was a grant of €2.75million for St. Josephs on the 13th April 2017. Nor was the re announcement of the grants in July and August 2017 realities. The true intention of Government and HSE policy to close the residential nursing care units by stealth at St. Josephs. Lifford and Ramelton so the doors can be closed when the new Private Hospital at Letterkenny is opened.”
“The questions asked of the HSE and the Government for the last 3 years by various politicians and our Action Group have been answered in a particular way by the Minister and the Department of Health officials only be contradicted and denied subsequently by the HSE and HSE officials and any answer subsequently given by the HSE or CEO Area 1 would be subsequently contradicted on the record of Dail Eireann. This naturally leads us to believe that our campaign is being completely mislead by a combination of Government Ministers, Department officials and HSE officials working in harmonious concert in an attempt to dupe the respective communities.
“In what can only be described as bizarre and unprecedented a Minister subsequently contradicted his own answer to Dail Eireann on a local radio news soundbite and he immediately despite a live radio programme commitment the next day went into hibernation for a year before the heat from the coal of further questions caused him to waken up.
“It is our absolute firm belief that serious probing must be done and questions asked such as Who was the original proposer for the new Letterkenny Private Hospital? Who co-ordinated the plan for the new Letterkenny Hospital through the HSE and the Department of Health? Who will be running the new Private Hospital? Where are the plans we have been promised since 2016? Where is the Funding promised time and times and last promised on the 7th November 2018?
“It has been clearly confirmed that the new Letterkenny Private Hospital will be a replacement of the existing capacity of residential and nursing care beds at Ramelton, Lifford and St. Josephs Stranorlar Community Hospitals
“The people can save St. Joseph’s Hospital, Stranorlar by putting shoe leather on the streets of the Town Twins to waken the Politicians into upping their game to save our Community nursing and residential unit.
Please come out and support Save Our St Joseph’s Hospital action group march on Saturday 23rd March at 1.30pm. Starting from St. Joseph’s Hospital car park going to Jackson’s Hotel for a public meeting at 2.30pm.
Many promises made to us by the Government and each and every one of them broken, grants announced by Ministers only to subsequently be discovered to be fake news, agreements reached with us only to be found out as time buying efforts by Government in an effort to quieten and calm us down. Cynical on our part you might say, No I retort, we are exhausted of the nonsense of this Government, it’s various Ministers who have intentionally mis lead us in order to save their own bacon in the short term.
For the sake of those who depend on us to care for them – take to the streets on the 23rd March at 1.30pm from St Joseph’s Hospital and meeting in Jacksons hotel at 2.30pm. Rally for those who in their time cared for us… give one hour of your time in order our Community Hospital, our Community Residential Nursing Unit. A bus will run from the car park at Jackson’s Hotel to St. Joseph’s from 1pm.
Time for the arrogance to end and the time has come to stand with the people. Time to finally end the spin. I am asking everyone to come out and support our elderly and most vulnerable.
Please support the elderly and vulnerable. Let everyone from every house please take to the streets to secure the right for people to be cared for on their own community.