HSE to meet Portiuncula staff amid oncology fears

Staff and union members in Portiuncula Hospital are to meet with HSE management this morning [Friday] to receive a report on the future of services and staffing at the hospital.

While concerns arose yesterday over the future of the oncology department at the Ballinasloe hospital, the HSE said that, contrary to speculation, no decision had been taken to remove the oncology service from Portiuncula Hospital.

It says it is considering all options in Portiuncula to ensure its budget is not overspent.

“HSE West is updating and finalising break even budget plans which will continue to be implemented across the region. Based on current estimates, the overspend for the HSE West Area is like to be €90 million if we do not take action. Like every other public service we have to live within the budget that we have been allocated in 2010,” read a statement released yesterday evening.

“Local managers are working with their teams to finalise break even plans and we anticipate that these budget plans will affect some patients and clients. Currently in Portiuncula all options are being considered to ensure that the budget is not overspent.

“Portiuncula Hospital management is meeting with GUH [Galway University Hospital] management and the regional director of operations office next week to explore every option available. However, contrary to speculation, no decision has been made to remove the oncology service from Portiuncula Hospital.”

Officials from IMPACT trade union declined to comment in advance of this morning’s meeting.

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