THE increase in the budget for Mayo General Hospital of nearly 10 percent for 2013 was welcomed by a local town councillor who said it was proof that the hospital has ‘a strong future’.
New figures obtained from RTÉ show that Mayo General Hospital will receive the second largest percentage increase of its budget for 2013. Last year, the hospital had a budget of €71.474 million and that is to increase to €78.5 million following the 9.9 per cent increase.
The good news for the hospital came in the same week as it received a positive report in the HIQA audit of Hospitals and Castlebar Town Councillor Ger Deere, said this shows that the hospital has a strong future ahead of it.
“There has been a lot of negative comments from certain councillors regarding the downgrading of Mayo General but the HIQA report and the increase in budget proves the hospital has a future and this government is committed to the services in Mayo General. The four Fine Gael [Castlebar town] councillors meet every month with the management of Mayo General and despite all the negativity there are a lot of positives,” he said.
While welcoming the increase in the hospital budget, Independent councillor Michael Kilcoyne said it still not enough to cater for the increase in numbers attending the hospital since the closure of Roscommon A&E.
“I welcome the increase but it is not enough because no other hospital has had such an increase in throughput of patients following the closure of Roscommon A&E. Mayo General is stretched so much it will need a 20 per cent increase. I hope the money is spent looking after patient care because two weeks ago patients were sent home because there wasn’t enough nursing staff.
“Enda Kenny seems to be heading in the right direction [regarding funding for Mayo General] but we are 40 per cent through his term and there is a whole lot more to do,” he concluded.
Fine Gael councillor Eugene McCormack admitted the increase in budget was ‘partly’ because of the closure of Roscommon A&E.
“It is good news for Mayo that both Sligo and Galway have been similarly increased as it means they will be also taking some of the pressure from Roscommon. We’re not claiming that this increased budget will mean any new services in Mayo but it will help to maintain existing services.
“There has been speculation that this is tied to the Taoiseach but my information is that the analysis here was done on a very transparent and equal basis nationwide,” he said.