Click on logo to learn more about me on Fine Gael's website

my latest blog

Welcome to my blog. Please Click the following link to ensure you are viewing the latest entry as you may be viewing older entries if you have been redirected from other sites or arrived at this site by a GOOGLE SEARCH. Please click on "Comment" at the end of the blog if you wish to place a comment

Friday, September 24, 2010


Dr. Liam Twomey warns that the leaked HSE document on the reconfiguration of health services in the South East is putting patients lives at risk and makes access to healthcare harder for thousands of patients.

Leaked documents from the HSE indicate that the HSE only supports the retention of two major hospitals in the South East. These two hospitals at Waterford Regional Hospital and St. Luke’s in Kilkenny, are only 30 minutes apart via the new motorway.

In contrast, Wexford Hospital is over an hour away from either hospital and serves a catchment area of 150,000 people, larger than any other county in the South East. The HSE document indicates that Wexford will only have 12 hour Urgent Care, no acute surgery and no maternity services. Taking into account the imminent closure of St. Senan’s psychiatric hospital in County Wexford next year and no significant investment in either primary care or the ambulance services, the HSE stand accused of dismantling the health services in the South East with Wexford being seriously affected.

There is already growing concern by patients and doctors that Waterford Regional Hospital is failing to deliver health services in an appropriate manner.
Waiting times for ENT (Ear Nose and Throat), Orthopaedic (bones) and Urology (prostate/bladder problem) Outpatients is at least two years and up to four years. The HSE’s failure to deliver these services in a timely manner is unacceptable. The HSE’s long term plan as outlined in the leaked document will cost patients their lives and lead to more problems with delayed diagnosis.

The HSE’s failure to maintain services at the appropriate level at Wexford General Hospital is alarming. Between 20 -30 patients have been on trolleys on numerous occasions during the summer months. Up to 30 nurses are on maternity leave and have not been replaced leading to reduction of services at the Hospital. The Hospital budget has been cut by 11 million in the last 3 years.

As Fine Gael spokesperson on Health and Children from 2004-2007, I watched with dismay the botched reconfiguration of the North East; I now see the same flawed thinking being applied to the South East.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Dr. Liam Twomey of Fine Gael said that he is not surprised by the Global Competitiveness Index report, which found that Irish competitiveness declined again over the last 12 months, falling from 25th to 29th overall. “

“When you look behind our rating of 29th in the world, we find that our rating is even lower in some areas; for example in wastefulness of government spending we are 93rd, in transport and infrastructure we are 53rd. Our nearest English speaking neighbour, the UK, is 12th for competitiveness overall while six European countries are in the top 10 with Switzerland and Sweden in 1st and 2nd place respectively.”

“It is no surprise that our competitiveness has not improved. State imposed costs as well as trouble in accessing credit are some of the biggest problems facing businesses and they impact negatively on competiveness. Wexford County Councillors were successful in ensuring that commercial rates were not raised this year. Despite this, we have seen businesses close in Wexford and it is because this government fails to realise the impact this recession is having on businesses. They have not supported businesses since the beginning of this recession and they have recently implemented increases in electricity, petrol and diesel with the carbon tax and the energy levy which shows their lack of understanding of our current situation. Without a comprehensive government plan, our competiveness will continue to decline, making us a very unattractive prospect, not only for international and local businesses but also for tourists.”


Fine Gael’s Dr. Liam Twomey said that he is concerned about the lack of funding for health services especially mental health. “In July, Fianna Fail announced that health’s capital spending would be slashed by €2.2 billion, with a possible €1billion cut in current spending. Wexford can see the impact of last year’s budget cuts with approximately 25 people having to suffer the indignity of lying on trolleys in the hospital nearly every day during the summer, since the closure of St. Aidan’s Ward.”

“As well as this, the HSE Assistant National Director of Mental Health said yesterday (Thursday) that no new money has been provided for mental health services this year. No new money was provided in 2008 and only €3million was provided in 2009. It is unlikely that any extra money will be provided next year. This is despite Fianna Fail’s promise of giving €21million to Mental Health services each year for a period of seven years in ‘A Vision for Change’ launched in 2006. It was also expected that €50 million would be realised from the sale of old hospital sites. However it is clear that due to the poor property market, this figure will not be reached.”

“I am concerned about these figures as we were told earlier this year that St. Senan’s would close in February 2011. Because of the mess that Fianna Fail has made of the economy, Minister Moloney also told us that there was no money to build a Mental Health Unit at Wexford General Hospital but he did promise that comprehensive Mental Health Community Services would be put in place. However, due to the moratorium on recruitment, over 700 staff left mental healthcare in 2009 and only 65 were replaced. This is putting huge pressure on all services and this, plus the budget cuts, plus the lack of implementation of ‘A Vision for Change’ makes me worried about Fianna Fail’s commitment to providing good mental health services in county Wexford. If this government fails to honour their commitments to the Mental Health Services, in County Wexford, the people of County Wexford must stand up for this very vulnerable sector in our county.