The lack of commitment toward health care in Kildare by the current government has to be criticised. Since it was revealed at the start of June that Portlaoise Hospital is to have its A&E services downgraded, this will place further pressures on Naas Hospital emergency department which is already under strain.
Minister Varadkar stated this week there would be a ‘modest increase’ in operating budgets to allow ‘existing levels of service to be maintained’. Given the expected increase in demand to Naas A&E which will arise from the downgrading of Portlaoise Hospital it is clear there is no cohesive plan in place toward health care in Kildare and current services being maintained will not be adequate to cope with rising numbers.
It is a few months since I joined INMO nurses outside Naas General to highlight the pressures put on emergency department staff and lack of beds. We can see that primary care centres, often cited as a way of decreasing numbers who report to emergency departments, are extremely under developed, with only three in operation in Kildare found in Naas, Newbridge, and Clane/Kilmeage. There are seven other sites which were supposed to be developed yet this has not come to fruition.
This again demonstrates that the lack of an opposition voice at this end of the constituency allows the government neglect basic services and go unchallenged. The huge government majority just means less critical voices to challenge their failures.