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Minihan Condemns Decision to Close Cherry Orchard HIV Unit

29/07/12

Louise Minihanéirígí Dublin City Councillor Louise Minihan has slammed the decision to close the specialised HIV unit at Cherry Orchard Hospital and has called on the local community to support the campaign against the ward closure. The 18-bed Rowan Ward is to be permanently closed at the end of August.

Speaking from Ballyfermot, Cllr Minihan said, “The Rowan Ward at Cherry Orchard Hospital provides specialised care to those within our community living with HIV and AIDS. The ward provides essential care to some of the most vulnerable people in our society. That the government would close such a vital community service is an absolute disgrace and highlights once again that Fine Gael and Labour are not acting in the interest of the people of this area or the wider state.

“I have been contacted by a number of patients who are receiving treatment at the Rowan Ward, who are greatly concerned at the proposed closure. These patients are in genuine fear for the future of their treatment, as no alternative has been outlined by the HSE. It is of the utmost importance that the Rowan Ward remains open, so that patients can continue to receive the best treatment possible. Any attempts to close hospital wards under the austerity agenda must be resisted by our community.”

Minihan continued, “Over the last number of years, Cherry Orchard Hospital, and the wider community here in Ballyfermot, have suffered greatly from government imposed cutbacks. But the government haven’t had it all their own way, as a number of vital services at the hospital have been saved as a result of pressure from the local community. I would urge the people of Ballyfermot and Cherry Orchard to show their support for the patients of the Rowan Ward and to resist any attempts to close it or other hospital wards.

“I am also calling on Catherine Byrne of Fine Gael and Eric Byrne and Michael Connaghan of Labour to explain to the people of Ballyfermot why they support the closure of our hospital wards and why they have voted in favour of the savage attacks on our public and community services. How can these government politicians claim to represent us when they constantly act against the interests of our communities?

“In the coming weeks every effort must be made to ensure the Rowan Ward remains open. éirígí is committed to working with the patients, their families and the community to ensure that essential community and public services are defended.”

 

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