Following rumours that negotiations are underway for South Tipperary General Hospital to leave the South/South West Hospital Group and align itself with Limerick University Hospital, The Waterford News & Star has sought immediate clarification from the Health Service Executive (HSE).
In a statement released this morning, the HSE stated that “In the context of the Sláinte Care Report and in light of the challenges faced by South Tipperary General Hospital particularly during winter months, the Director General of the HSE asked both the South South West Hospital Group and University Limerick Hospital Group to examine whether Acute hospital services in the South Tipperary catchment area are optimally aligned and supported in the current model of delivery, especially in terms of clinical pathways and patient flows, and to advise accordingly. This examination process is ongoing.”
Sinn Fein TD David Cullinane said that any such move would be a “disaster for UHW”
“This has been a goal of Michael Noonan’s for some time and it may well be a parting gift. Aligning St Luke’s in Kilkenny and Wexford General Hospital with hospitals in Dublin has already seen a shift in patient referral away from Waterford to Dublin, a call I made at the time of the reconfiguration and establishment of new hospital groups,” Deputy Cullinane said.
“To lose South Tipperary General Hospital from the Group would be a major setback. The clinical pathway for referrals from South Tipperary is to Waterford and to a lesser extent Cork depending on the service. If this is a done deal it will mean three of the four hospitals in the old South Eastern Hospital Group will no longer be aligned to Waterford leaving UHW isolated and a mere adjutant to Cork.”
Minister Simon Harris is in Tipperary today to “discuss the future of South Tipp General Hospital with a local action group”.
More news as we get it.