Fine Gael Deputy seeks prompt local Hospice figures clarity

Returned Fine Gael TD for Longford Westmeath, Deputy Peter Burke, has demanded clarity from the HSE in relation to the South Westmeath Hospice and a serious discrepancy in figures being provided to the volunteer committee.

Speaking on the issue, Burke said he found the situation, as it is unfolding, incredible.

“At a meeting on August 28, 2019, the HSE stated that part of their rationale to close the South Westmeath Hospice was that there was a low occupancy rate of 35 percent. Following the publication of the PCU bed occupancy summary, it is clear to me and the committee that the record of occupancy rests above the 60 percent rate.

“This discrepancy is massive and it is irresponsible and wrong for the HSE to continue to quote a figure that is clearly inaccurate. The HSE carries out work on behalf of the State, they are funded by the taxpayer, and it is unthinkable that inaccurate figures were used to distort the reality and close down a vital service.

“The South Westmeath Hospice relies on volunteers and the goodwill of the community to operate and I would expect the HSE to act in good faith and clarify this situation without delay.

“I am calling upon the HSE to continue to liaise with the committee, to clarify these figures and bring forward a plan to implement the directive given by the Minister for Health to keep the Hospice open. The community of South Westmeath rely on this service and this situation needs an urgent solution,” Deputy Burke asserted.


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