The campaign to save services at St Brigid’s Hospital in Carrick on Suir has been getting great support according to local organisers.
A petition is currently being gathered in the town and surrounding villages to retain respite and palliative services at the facility – the HSE is set on replacing this with a chronic disease management unit.
The petition will be presented handed in at Leinster House on September 22nd next.
Dean McGrath of the Save St Brigid’s Action Group says the response has been amazing.
“Currently we’re over 6,000 signatures which is an incredible statistic and it just goes to show the depth and the emotion that the people of Carrick on Suir and the surrounding areas have for the retention of the respite and palliative care services in that particular unit.”
The Save St Brigid’s Action Group will be holding an awareness event in Carrick on Suir next weekend.
The gathering will take place at 12pm this Saturday in the New Street car park in the town.
Speaking on Tipp Today earlier Dean McGrath refuted claims by Minister Mary Butler that there were enough beds in the area to cope with the need.
“That’s quite simply untrue.”
“I’m sure she’s been given statistics by the HSE area management that may look good on a spreadsheet or whatever but the stories we’ve heard – people can’t get respite in South Tipperary.”
“It’s quite simply incredible to say that there’s enough services. We’re not hearing on the ground – we have people crying out for any bit of respite. Some people haven’t gotten respite since St Brigid’s closed.”
Fianna Fáil TD Jackie Cahill is encouraging locals to keep up the fight, but has conceded that no progress is being made with saving the services at St Brigid’s.
Speaking on Tipp Today earlier, the Tipperary TD said that Minister of State Mary Butler remains convinced that closing respite and palliative services there is the right move.
“We’ll continue to work with the Minister to see can we get something done but at the moment we’re not making progress with St Brigid’s.”
“Minister Butler has been very strong that she’s not going to invest in St Brigid’s – she has said it on a number of occasions that they’ve invested in the health centre there and they’re not going to put long term beds back into St Brigid’s.”
“We got a different commitment from Minister Stephen last July 12 months and I was extremely disappointed that that commitment was gone back on.”