Local Fine Gael senator and former Minister for Health, Dr James Reilly is calling on his party colleague, Minister Simon Harris to set about providing a Day Hospital in Swords. This, he maintains will take the pressure off major hospitals, where smaller medical procedures can be carried out in Swords.
Dr Reilly’s judgement was called into question when, as Minister for Health, he was lambasted for adding Balbriggan to the list for Primary Care Centres. This furore almost toppled the Government and caused the loss of a junior minister in Roisin Shortall. However, with perfect vision provided by hindsight, the result of his far sighted judgement has seen the delivery of a world class Primary Care Centre, about to open soon in Balbriggan, which will have a profound effect on health service provision in the locality.
Dr Reilly made his appeal for a day hospital for Swords, while addressing the Seanad last week on the problems facing the health service. He said, “Whilst we have terrible trouble now with waiting times and people on trolleys, they are influenced very much by what happens in primary care and early diagnosis and early intervention, which are critical,” he said.
“Equally, what happens after treatment, in terms of facilities for people to return home. Most people want to go home. In that context, I want to raise the need for a day hospital in Swords to serve the needs for the people of North County Dublin. Both the Mater Hospital and Beaumont Hospital are large regional hospitals with national specialities and regional specialities and services. Very often, surgery has to be day surgery and places are taken up by acute admissions from the night before,” he said.
“If we had a separate Day Hospital in Swords, which is accessible to over 100,000 people and beyond, many of these procedures can take place there, like hernias, gall bladder surgery, cataracts, plastic surgery etc. These are very successfully being carried out currently in places like Ennis, Louth County Hospital in Dundalk, Roscommon and Nenagh. I am calling on the Minister to give consideration to the provision of a day hospital for Swords and hopefully he can come in to the Seanad at some time to discuss this proposal at length,” concluded Reilly.