By Eoin Ryan
400 people gathered in Kells to protest against the proposed closure of Navan Hospital’s Emergency Department and the Medical Assessment Unit proposed replacement.
“A palpable anger among protestors at the Save Nave Hospital A&E in Kells today,” TD Peadar Toibin said in a Facebook post. “That such a large crowd gathered in the middle of a working day shows just how important the A&E is.”
This is the third organised protest since the HSE announced its plans to reconfigure the A&E unit at Our Lady’s Hospital in Navan to a Medical Assessment Unit during June this year.
Two funeral hearses led the protest followed by hundreds of protesters throughout Kells
Aontú TD Peadar Tóibín, Senior SIPTU Official John Regan, Sinn Féin TD Darren O’Rourke, Fianna Fail Senator Shane Cassells and Independent Councillor Gillian Toole expressed their support for the protest and opposition for the HSE’s decision.
Health Minister Stephen Donnelly asked the HSE to carry out a review of capacity levels after concerns were raised in this regard consultants from Our Ladies of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda said that the HSE did not consult the plans with them.
17 consultants signed a letter stating that the transfer of risk to Navan hospital to the currently “under-resourced Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda will lead to poorer clinical outcomes for patients.”
Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda currently has an average wait time of 10.6 hours in their emergency department.
Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly revealed that he told the HSE to pause the closure and then last month he announced a review of the services. Despite this, senior HSE officials agreed at a meeting on June 29th that the reconfiguration would go ahead.