Is St Lukes next on the chopping board for Mary Harney? It seems this is where she has her eye.
It has been reported that the cancer facility will be kept on as a terminally ill care centre as opposed to being “sold off”. Operations will be split between St James’ and Beamont Hospitals, with a portion of staff transferring to St James’ and Beaumont at the latter end of this year. The remainder of staff will be transferred by 2014.
Health Minister Mary Harney was bringing the Health Bill 2010 to the Oireachtas Committe on Health and Children, which allows for the detachment of the hospital boards and the transfer of assets. The plans for closure will continue with the reorganisation of cancer services in eight hospitals.
Radiotherapy will be transferred to Beaumont and St James’.
“The ethos of St Lukes is to keep it as a hospital and not have it sold”, said Harney. “Land near the city centre for public health use is hard to find and there is a growing demand for health services.”
Although this has been justified by the Health Minister, it has not been met with as much support as first imagined. It has caused immeasurable controversy and hurt to those who have survived cancer and who have been at the mercy of the fantastic staff at St Lukes.
Chairperson of “Save St Luke’s Hospital” campaign and cancer survivor Joe Guilfoyle says ” St Lukes is one of the few success stories of our public health system”.
Guilfoyle goes on to add “Its is a hospital that patients like me are very happy to travel to. It is unacceptable that the minister is attempting to close it”.
I myself look forward to hearing more on what could potentially be damaging news to those who St Lukes have been paramount to their recovery.
Has the Health Minister gone too far this time or is this all part of a grand scheme of events to help the Irish public health system?