Kerry University Hospital headed for downgrade, according to local councillor 11 months ago

Kerry University Hospital headed for downgrade, according to local councillor

“I believe, and I have held this opinion for a while, that they are doing this on purpose."

A Sinn Féin politician has come forward and said that she believes that a Kerry hospital is destined for downgrade, following a series of unheeded warnings and lengthy prolonged waiting lists.

Kerry County Councillor Toiréasa Ferris was interviewed by Conall Ó Cíobháin on Adhmhaidin on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta on Tuesday morning when she made the claim, stating that "nothing was done about" previous issues which had been flagged.

According to Ferris, patients waiting for an appointment for fluoroscopy in University Hospital Kerry in Tralee will have their appointments further delayed by at least nine months because of a problem with the equipment – something which led her to believe that the hospital was to be compromised.

She explained that she had been contacted by a woman who had fertility problems and had been awaiting an appointment for a year already for fluoroscopy and that she had now been told that there would be a further nine months wait for an appointment because of a problem with the device.

"These things happen ... devices break, or it’s no longer up to standard, but three years ago management at the hospital was warned that there was an issue with this equipment and that it would need to be replaced, but nothing was done about it," Ferris explained.

"Appointments had been made for many women, and they got the call last week to say that the machine was broken and that there would be at least a further nine-month wait for an appointment.”

Councillor Ferris said that this, together with other scandals at the hospital over the last number of months, indicated to her that it was intended to downgrade the hospital.

“I believe, and I have held this opinion for a while, that they are doing this on purpose, and that they want to downgrade the services that are available here in Kerry.

"Neither myself nor other public representatives will allow that to happen easily, but at the same time if we have scandal after scandal, I’m not sure we can stop it.”

“I remember speaking to a consultant in Nenagh in Tipperary in 2008 when they were downgrading that hospital, and she said to me ‘you know that the same thing will be happening in Kerry within 10 years’ and it seems that she was right.”