Browne: Health Minister could be called before Oireachtas Committee

Protest and march at St Brigid's Hospital, Carrick-on-Suir in June 2020. | Photo (c) Tipp FM

The closure of various health facilities – including St Brigid’s in Carrick on Suir – needs to be examined further.

That’s the view of Tipperary TD Martin Browne who is Chair of the Joint Committee on Public Petitions and the Ombudsman.

His comments follow the recent appearance before the committee by the Save St Brigid’s Action Group and two other groups.

They all expressed their concern behind the reasons for the closure of health facilities in their communities, and their opposition to the ultimate decisions to take these valuable services away.

“There seems to be a pattern here identified in the few reports that we’re getting back from the HSE and we’re kind of seeing it seems to be Covid was used as a reason to close centres in the first place with the intention of it reopening after Covid and that just hasn’t happened.

“It’s a concern for communities like St Brigid’s in Carrick on Suir that actually fund raised so much down through the years.”

Martin Browne says the Health Minister could be asked to appear before the Public Petitions Committee if the HSE doesn’t provide the answers.

“We’ll be putting out a request for the HSE to come in again in front of us like before and if don’t get answers we will be requesting that the Minister or someone from the Department come in to us.

“Communities deserve an awful lot better than what they’ve gotten already and I suppose that’s the advantage of the Petitions Committee.”