I, along with other Oireachtas members met with Health Minister Simon Harris TD last week to brief the Minister on the situation arising at Merlin Park hospital.
Also in attendance at the meeting were Maurice Power and Pat Nash of the Saolta Hospital Group and consultant surgeons Stephen Kerins and William Curtin who were representing surgeons at the hospital.
Following the meeting, I am not convinced that we have a plan to ensure a rapid return to full surgery hours. There are still too many questions and clarity is required. We are to re-convene again in two weeks when hopefully a plan with an accurate time frame is to be presented.
The Minister for Health is fully aware of the situation and stated that the Department of Health will assist in whatever way it can. The roof leak in the operating facility has resulted in the closure of the unit and the cancellation of 80-90 surgeries each week. This situation is not acceptable and the Hospital Group need to bring forward a plan that is workable.